Survivors of the 2015 Paris attacks on Friday urged France and other countries to stop Western jihadists escaping from prisons in Syria to perpetrate new atrocities following the US withdrawal.
In an open letter published in Le Parisien newspaper two weeks before the fourth anniversary of the attacks that killed 130 people, a group of 44 survivors appealed to France and other western nations not to abandon the Kurds who fought against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
Most French and other western jihadists were held in a short-lived Kurdish enclave protected by US troops and air power.
“Passivity is now allowing hundreds of terrorists to escape, including, we fear, the most dangerous French jihadists,” the letter read.
“How much time will it take before they strike again? All those years of battles and dogged efforts to combat terrorism are now being placed in jeopardy.”
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The governments of President Emmanuel Macron and his predecessor François Hollande have tried to wash their hands of French nationals captured in Syria, but pressure is increasing to take them back to face justice in France in the wake of the US pullout.
Some have been transferred to prisons in Iraq.
The fate of French jihadists is a political minefield for Mr Macron. There is little popular enthusiasm to swell the ranks of the hundreds of jihadists already in French prisons.
The French Right and far-Right have called for those in Syria and Iraq to be stripped of their French citizenship.
Isil claimed the Paris attacks, which were planned in Syria. Most of the attackers had French citizenship and two were Iraqis. Some had fought in Syria and entered Europe amid an influx of migrants and refugees.
The survivors’ group spoke out a day after Donald Trump said that “it isn’t fair” that the British government has not taken back British jihadists captured by the US.
In an LBC radio interview with Nigel Farage, the Brexit Party leader, Mr Trump said: “We offered to give the ones from UK back to UK and they don’t want them.”
Mr Trump said he made the same offer to France and Germany but they also failed to respond.