Islamic State Group: Syria’s Kurds Call for International Tribunal

3/26/2019

The Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria has called for the creation of an international tribunal to try thousands of suspected members of the Islamic State (IS) group. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the United States, have reportedly captured more than 5,000 militants from Syria and abroad since January and put them in detention centers.

According to one Kurdish official, more than 9,000 foreign relatives of IS members, many of them children, are being held at the al-Hol camp. The accommodation was built for about 20,000 people but is now housing more than 70,000. He issued a stark warning that leaving dangerous members of IS in an unstable region held by an administration ill-equipped to process them was asking for trouble. He also warned that leaving children to remain surrounded by the harmful ideology into which they were born was storing up profound problems for the future.

In a statement, the Kurdish administration called for "a special international tribunal in north east Syria to prosecute terrorists" to ensure that trials are "conducted fairly and in accordance with international law and human rights covenants and charters." When asked if the U.S. was considering an international tribunal, U.S. envoy for Syria James Jeffrey said: "We're not looking at that right now.”

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