Canada: Canada's failure to repatriate former ISIS fighters and families leading to "inevitable" crisis: experts - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Canada's failure to repatriate former ISIS fighters and families leading to "inevitable" crisis: experts

13:05  08 october  2019
13:05  08 october  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

Canada condemns Turkish military incursion in northern Syria as destabilizing

  Canada condemns Turkish military incursion in northern Syria as destabilizing OTTAWA — Canada has joined its major allies on Wednesday in firmly condemning Turkey's military incursion into northern Syria. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland made Canada's position clear in a series of late-afternoon tweets, saying the unilateral action by Turkey risks rolling back the progress against Islamic State militants, also known as Daesh. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland made Canada's position clear in a series of late-afternoon tweets, saying the unilateral action by Turkey risks rolling back the progress against Islamic State militants, also known as Daesh.

There is little political will in Europe to allow former ISIS fighters to return, as shown by the UK Nor have they shown any desire to go to the areas where ISIS fighters and families are being held, and put Wives of fighters . Experts have also noted that it could be difficult to prosecute non-combatant

Politicians, families and law experts say defence secretary’ s comments amount to an illegal policy of ‘extrajudicial killing’. The Labour MP and former paratrooper Dan Jarvis said Williamson’ s comments that Britons who had fought for Islamic State abroad should be hunted down and killed were “morally

a man in a military uniform: Members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) are shown in a 2018 file photo. Turkey has warned of a military incursion into northeast Syria to push back the YPG from the border. Now, the Trump administration says it is pulling U.S. troops from Syria, which could leave Turkey free to move against the Kurdish forces.© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) are shown in a 2018 file photo. Turkey has warned of a military incursion into northeast Syria to push back the YPG from the border. Now, the Trump administration says it is pulling U.S. troops from Syria, which could leave Turkey free to move against the Kurdish forces. Canada and other Western countries that have failed to repatriate citizens who fought for the Islamic State and now are detained in northern Syria, may soon face an even deeper conundrum about what to do about them, experts warned Monday.

Ottawa Kurds calling for action as Turkey attacks northern Syria

  Ottawa Kurds calling for action as Turkey attacks northern Syria Ottawa's Kurdish community is calling for action to stop the Turkish incursion into northern Syria that they say has put their family members and friends in danger. Organizations for Kurds in Ottawa are planning a rally Saturday at the U.S. Embassy to protest President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw American forces from the border region, leaving their Kurdish allies behind.Turkish forces began the offence on Wednesday and have continued their offensive against U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters. Casualties have continued to climb and thousands of civilians are fleeing the violence.

ISIS doctors are harvesting kidneys and corneas from captives, while other healthy prisoners are being used as "blood banks" for wounded ISIS fighters , a The website said it interviewed a former prisoner identified as Ado Rida who had been held in a former state security building in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Mr Barrett said former fighters ’ attitudes to Isis varied dramatically between those who rejected the group, became disillusioned, or were forced to retreat in battle. Manchester bomber Salman Abedi is believed to have met Isis fighters in Syria (PA/GMP).

The Trump administration has signalled it is prepared to stand aside in the event of a Turkish invasion of the region, which would be aimed at dislodging the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), a U.S. ally in the war against ISIS.

Stark criticism from Republicans in Congress forced U.S. President Donald Trump to temper earlier tweets by saying he would stop Turkey from going too far with an incursion, but the gyrations have created turmoil among policymakers and allies.

Since the fall of ISIS, the Syrian Democratic Forces, led by the YPG, have been holding approximately 11,000 ISIS detainees, including 2,000 foreign fighters, in more than two dozen camps.

There are as many as 32 Canadians (six men, nine women and 17 children)  in two camps in northeastern Syria, according to research by Amarnath Amarasingam, an assistant professor at Queen's University's school of religion, which was published in Policy Options magazine last summer.

Among Canadian ISIS detainees in Syria, women far outnumber men

  Among Canadian ISIS detainees in Syria, women far outnumber men At least 11 Canadian women are believed to be at the Al Hawl and Roj detention camps in northern Syria, while Global News found only five men imprisoned in the region who identified as Canadians.“I take it seriously,” Polman said. “These people don’t play.

Bolton, a former undersecretary of state for arms control and international security under George W. Bush, appeared on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’ s AM 970 The Klein asked Bolton if that meant American troops on the ground or simply increasing aid to forces fighting ISIS already.

An American- led coalition is closing in on the last major Islamic State strongholds — Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria — and officials say military and counterterrorism leaders face an urgent challenge in devising plans to deal with the consequences of that success.

In the face of a Turkish military offensive, they could soon be free.

Was bound to happen

"Something like this was bound to happen," said Michael Nesbitt, a senior fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. "There was always a risk something like this would happen and if we didn't take action [to repatriate them] national security could be put at risk...I'd be worried about the Canadians, where they end up."

Over the weekend, the Kurds indicated they will pull military forces away from detention facilities and refugee camps in order to fight Turkish forces, said John Dunford, a Syrian expert at the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War.

Over the last year, there have been four documented cases of detained ISIS fighters organizing riots or small-scale escape attempts at camps in Syria and northern Iraq.

Dunford said these incidents were not co-ordinated or sophisticated, but that may be about to change, because ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has ordered his followers to step up efforts to free those who've been captured.

COMMENTARY: Canada is complicit in the shameful betrayal of the Kurds

  COMMENTARY: Canada is complicit in the shameful betrayal of the Kurds As much as we should condemn Trump for his craven abandonment of the Kurds, we should also look at why Canada hasn’t been doing more, says Rob Breakenridge.After all the sacrifices that Kurdish forces have made in taking the fight to ISIS and bringing about the end of the so-called caliphate, for the American president to throw them under the bus and subject them to this Turkish onslaught is beyond shameful.

Isis is sending waves of suicide bombers either as individuals who blow themselves up or in vehicles packed with explosives, snipers and mortar “I see that Isis are getting their families to safety,” said one Christian driving past a A last stand by Isis in the city, however, could lead to its destruction.

Shi'ite families have fled to the west and Sunni families have fled to the east," a city official who asked not to be identified told Reuters. The senator also blasted the White House, arguing that the president' s decision to withdraw troops from Iraq had led to the current crisis .

"There is concern given the vulnerability of some of these facilities," Dunford said. "Some of them are literally schoolhouses that have been converted. Even just the threat of a Turkish offensive into northern Syria, we could see an abandonment of those facilities."

Prisoners could walk away

The consensus among defence and security experts is that the Kurds would let the prisoners go, leaving detainees and their families free to either return home, or rejoin the insurgency.

Dunford said, in his estimation, getting back into the fight is the most likely scenario for prisoners who could be released.

Some former Canadian ISIS fighters and their families have indicated they want to return home, but the Liberal government has said it's too difficult and northern Syria is too dangerous for Foreign Affairs staff.

"Canada has been unwilling,"said Nesbitt, who noted U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointedly called on Canada at the end of August to take back its citizens detained in Syria.

"We don't have a political party that has said it would deal proactively with these fighters. Usually, it's leave them there — or some such policy. And now, we're seeing the repercussions of that."

Newfoundland veteran afraid for Kurdish fighters in Syria after U.S. troop withdrawal

  Newfoundland veteran afraid for Kurdish fighters in Syria after U.S. troop withdrawal Leading Seaman Michael Kennedy retired from the Canadian Navy in 2016.A retired Newfoundland navy veteran who fought ISIS in Syria fears for Kurdish forces in the region following the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Fighters could be seen cheering and firing celebratory gunfire in the streets, according to residents reached by phone and text message. Whether final or not, the seemingly inevitable defeat in Raqqa of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or Many former residents said they had no plans to go back.

Combatting ISIS needs to be part of broader and longer-term efforts to restore security, tackle political injustices, increase economic output and promote effective governance.

Heated debate in the Commons

The fate of former Canadian ISIS militants and their families has been the subject of heated debate on the floor of the House of Commons and Conservatives have been fundraising off the notion, accusing the Liberals of welcoming home jihadist fighters.

Nesbitt wouldn't comment on the politics, but said the result of policy inaction has boiled down to this: "Who knows where they are going to go? At the very least, we no longer have control over them."

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said earlier this year as many 60 foreign fighters have returned to Canada, but only a small number of them had travelled to Syria, Iraq and Turkey.

Most, he said, had travelled elsewhere.

It has been suggested that gathering evidence overseas to prosecute them — at least to a standard acceptable to Canadian courts — would be difficult.

"I simply do not know what our rationale has been in following this course," Nesbitt said.

Kurds betrayed?

Much of the political narrative in Washington on Monday revolved around the notion that the withdrawal of U.S. forces was a betrayal of the Kurds, who were seen as being among the most capable fighters against ISIS.

But Ben Friedman, the policy director of Defense Priorities, another Washington-based strategic institute, said the policy of extracting the U.S. from the Syrian civil war is not wrong, but the execution has been horrible.

"My view is that we have the right end in wanting to withdraw," Friedman said during a conference call with reporters, "but we have completely bolloxed up the means of doing that."

The Trump White House signalled early last winter that it wanted out of Syria and Friedman said the time in between should have been used to prepare the Kurds for that eventuality.

Canada restricted its operations against the Islamic State to Iraq and never ventured into Syria.

Canadian couple released from Turkish detention without charges .
A Canadian couple who were detained by Turkish authorities near the Syrian border in July on suspicion of trying to join ISIS are on their way home to Canada after being released without charge, CBC News has learned.A senior government source told CBC News the couple's problems began when they took a drive along the Syrian border in July. That prompted the Turkish authorities to pick them up on suspicion of terror-related activity.

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