France refuses to take back French extremists detained in Syria

France has ruled out the repatriation of French extremists and their families detained in Syria after the fall of ISIS' caliphate, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said Friday.

France and other European nations have been wrestling with how to handle the hundreds of foreign fighters, many of whom are being held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces which led the final push against ISIS. French daily Liberation reported Friday that in early March the government had been ready to bring home around 250 men, women, and children before abandoning the plan given public hostility to the repatriations. The issue is extremely sensitive in France, where a deadly 2015 attack on the capital claimed by ISIS killed 130 people and set off a wave of other deadly assaults since then.

Last month, French authorities for the first time brought home five orphaned children of French extremists from camps in northeast Syria.

Up to 1,700 French nationals are thought to have traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight with the extremists between 2014 and 2018, according to government figures. Around 300 are believed to have died in combat.

Source: VOV5