BRIT JI­HADIS FREED AND HEAD­ING HOME

Daily Star - - News - By JERRY LAW­TON jerry.law­ton@dai­lystar.co.uk

BRITS are thought to be among a con­voy of 4,000 Is­lamic State fighters head­ing home af­ter be­ing al­lowed to flee Raqqa.

Coali­tion lead­ers let the ji­hadis leave the Syr­ian hell-hole with their weapons in 163 ve­hi­cles as part of a truce.

The move was aimed at avoid­ing bru­tal hand-to-hand com­bat in the streets as the ter­ror net­work was driven from the city. The con­voy left on Oc­to­ber 12 bound for a camp fur­ther north in ter­ri­tory still held by Isis.

But ex­perts fear many of the fighters will try to reach their home­lands, in­clud­ing the UK.

The coali­tion mon­i­tored the four-mile con­voy from the air. Isis fighters car­ry­ing AK-47s sat on top of trucks and many of the ve­hi­cles flew black Isis flags. Wit­nesses said among the flee­ing ji­hadis were English speak­ers and women.

The ex­o­dus flew in the face of pre­vi­ous US pledges that Isis fighters would be killed rather than al­lowed to go home. The move was agreed to spare Kur­dish forces who were lead­ing the bat­tle against Isis on the ground.

They would have be­come em­broiled in a long bat­tle to clear the last sur­viv­ing ji­hadis.

CAP­TIVE: Jack Letts in Syria be­fore his cap­ture by Kurds. He says he is be­ing held in soli­tary con­fine­ment a knife and ham­mer. Birm­ing­ham Crown Court heard the white Brit, from Rhondda Cynon Taf, had be­come rad­i­calised on­line. He de­nies pre­par­ing to com­mit acts of ter­ror­ism in the city. Matthew Brook, pros­e­cut­ing, said: “He was planning a lone-wolf at­tack.”

The trial con­tin­ues.

VIC­TORY: Syr­ian forces

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