Belgian Islamic State fighter handed over to Iraq by SDF

Published By ITCT News Desk On : January 13, 2019
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Marchichi was wanted in a manhunt by French police in May 2017 for allegations of involvement in an Islamic State attack plot in Paris. (Photo: Police Nationale)

Erbil: A Syrian Kurdish group has handed over a Belgian national it captured fighting with the Islamic State over to the Iraqi government, Brussels-based media reported on Saturday.

According to Dutch-language news website Het Laatste Nieuws (HLN), the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) turned custody of Bilal Al Marchohi, aged 23, over to Iraqi officials. He is reported to have traveled to Syria in 2013 to join the militant group.

Unlike the Syrian Kurds, Iraq has carried out death sentences for those accused of being Islamic State members. Local authorities in northeast Syria have refused to put foreign fighters on trial.

“We do not have the legitimacy to convict them and lack logistical support to hold them for a long time,” SDF spokesperson Kino Gabriel told Kurdistan 24 in December.

“I think one of the solutions would be to have an international court and to convict them for their crimes,” he added.

Marchohi and his wife Ilham Borjani were arrested by the SDF near Raqqa on Aug. 29, 2017. During the two months that followed, Marchohi was questioned extensively by US military intelligence.

He was earlier wanted in a manhunt by French police in May 2017 for allegations of involvement in an Islamic State attack plot in Paris.

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