France is assisting the Iraqi Security Forces in killing its own citizens fighting for the Islamic State (ISIS) in the midst of the campaign for the city of Mosul, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The French government has reportedly undertaken the arrangement to ensure that French citizens fighting for ISIS are unable to return and plot attacks on Europe and its allies. Several European terror plots, including the 2015 Paris attacks, have been plotted by European citizens in ISIS territory.
France has nearly 600 citizens fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria, an April 2016 report from the International Center on Counter-Terrorism found. The country does not have the death penalty or armed drones and has found it effective to have their at-risk citizens killed by the Iraqi Security Forces.
France gives the forces a reported list of its citizens suspected to be in Mosul, along with identifying information and pictures, if they are available. The country even has a special forces forensics team on the ground that collects DNA samples of dead fighters to confirm their identities.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis expressed a sentiment similar to France’s on CBSNews Sunday, saying, “Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home to North Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia, to Africa. We’re not going to allow them to do so. We’re going to stop them there and take apart the caliphate.”
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