Trial of foreign Islamic State detainees to be held in Iraq, says president

Iraqi President Barham Saleh. Archive photo

Paris ( – Iraqi President Barham Saleh said on Monday that the trial of foreign Islamic State detainees who were handed over to Iraq last week by the Syrian Democratic Forces will be held in Iraq.

“They are accused of having commanded operations against Iraqis and Iraqi installations in Iraq, and they will be tried according to Iraqi law,” Reuters quoted Saleh as saying at a press conference in Paris with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. “We are acting within the confines of international law on this matter.”

Saleh did not explicitly say whether the detainees were French.

“All those accused of having committed crimes in Iraq, against the Iraqi people or against Iraqi installations in Iraq, we will seek to prosecute them,” the Iraqi president said.

Macron, meanwhile, said that it would be up to the local government in Iraq to decide whether to prosecute the Islamic State detainees there.

“The exchanges between the Iraqi security forces are part of bilateral relations that they maintain with Iraq in the fight against the jihadist enemy,” Macron said of the SDF. “In this context, the decisions that were made are not to be commented on, and it is not up to me to confirm the identity of such or such person.”

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