France’s attitude to the killing of its citizens in Syria fighting for the Islamic State group has rarely been as frankly stated as it was in the lead up to the fall of Raqa.
“We are committed along with our allies to the destruction of Daesh (Islamic State) and we’re doing everything to that end,” Defence Minister Florence Parly told reporters at the weekend.
“What we want is to go to the end of this combat and of course if jihadists die in the fighting, then I’d say it’s for the best,” she added.
French citizens are among the biggest contingent of overseas fighters who have joined IS, with around 1,000 nationals estimated by counter-terror officials to have travelled to Iraq and Syria.
Their return home to a country that has faced the worst of the IS-inspired violence in Europe since 2015 — which has claimed 241 lives — has long worried government and intelligence officials in Paris.
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Featured image courtesy of AP