In December 2017, the Russian government announced the death of ISIS. This was after liberating all towns that were previously controlled by ISIS. “There is not a single village or district in Syria under the control of ISIS. The territory of Syria has been completely liberated from fighters of this terrorist organization,” Colonel General Sergei Rudskoi told reporters.
The jihadist group suffered heavy losses and lost much of its territory in Syria. The Russian military said “not a single village” remained in IS control hence the announcement. The unbelievable news also came after key leaders including Abubakar Al-Baghdadi-their leader, were killed in the war.
Two years later fighters who had traveled to Syria for jihad are slowly returning to their countries to face jail term. Many of those fighters were from European countries. Britain has said that it is revoking the citizenship of Shamima Begum, a teenager who four years ago fled to become an “ISIS bride” and has attracted widespread public attention for her effort to return home with her new baby. The government’s decision came as the ISIS, was losing the last of its territory in Syria and countries across Europe are struggling with what to do about their citizens who went to fight on behalf of the terrorist group.
The decision to revoke citizenship is however against US’ stand where president Donald Trump tweeted “The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The Caliphate is ready to fall.”
As European countries deliberate on revoking or receiving ISIS fighters, Africans in Syria are stranded. They had traveled to Syria to fight and to never come back. With no traveling documents or identifications, fighters of African descent regret their choice to join the terrorist group, as their countries of origin remain silent on the matter.