Feb. 22 (UPI) — The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces turned over 150 captured Islamic State fighters to the Iraqi Army on Thursday.
The Iraqi army received the 150 Islamic State militants “north of the city of al-Qaim,” which is 205 miles west of Baghdad, Iraqi Army Col. Mohammed al-Dulaimi said in video obtained by Rudaw.
Survivors of Islamic State attacks who want justice and information on where their kidnapped Yazidi family members may remain have been critical of Iraqi Special Forces’ treatment of members of the Islamic State.
Iraq agreed to repatriate captured Islamic State fighters, making them the second Arab League state to do so, after Tunisia.
More Islamic State militants are expected to be handed over in the coming weeks since many Iraqi nationals are being held captive in Syria.
Haider al-Abadi, then the country’s prime minister, declared in December 2017 that Iraqi Security Forces had completely liberated Iraq from the Islamic State. However, the defeat has been territorial as Islamic State militants have since resorted to different tactics like hit-and-run attacks, improvised explosive devices and kidnappings.