As part of Turkey’s policy of repatriating foreign Daesh/ISIS members to their home countries, next month 11 French national members of the terror group will be sent back to France, said Turkish officials on Thursday.
“This week we will carry out repatriations to Belgium and Ireland on Friday and Saturday. Also, we will send 11 French national Daesh members back to France at the beginning of December,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu added, speaking at a conference on migration in the Aegean province of Izmir.
Several European countries have resisted Turkey’s efforts to repatriate Daesh/ISIS terrorists, but Turkey has vowed to press forward.
Saying that peace and stability should be promoted in regions that are sources of migrants, Soylu stressed: “Unless we clear out the activities of the [terrorist] PKK/PYD and Daesh, there is no way we can stop migration. Turkey is serious about migration management, because the country is serious on fighting terrorism.”
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.
Since recognizing Daesh/ISIS as a terror group in 2013, Turkey has been attacked by Daesh/ISIS terrorists numerous times, including 10 suicide bombings, seven bombings, and four armed attacks which killed 315 people and injured hundreds.
In response to the attacks, Turkey launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad, neutralizing 3,500 Daesh terrorists and arresting 5,500.
Refugee and migrants
To date 370,000 Syrian refugees who were hosted in Turkey have returned to their country, Soylu added.
Turkey hosts some 3.6 million refugees from neighboring Syria, more than any other country in the world.
Since 2016, it has conducted operations along its borders to eliminate terrorists there and also create safe conditions for the return of Syrian refugees.
Soylu also said that while 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, so far this year, some 430,000 have been held.