Paris estimates 700 citizens in IS ranks in Syria, Iraq

Paris, Jan 19 (IANS) French anti-terrorist services estimate that there are about 700 French residents in the ranks of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

They also added that there are around 1,000 who still reside in France but would like to join the terrorist organisation, Efe news reported.

Loïc Garnier, head of the Counter-Terrorism Coordination Unit (UCLAT), said in an interview on Wednesday, that it is not known the level of danger of each of those jihadists, who face difficulties in entering Syria and Iraq, while secret services are working to uncover their ideology.

At the same time, about 200 IS fighters have been identified to have been in Syria or Iraq but have returned to France, and others who still want to return, but the restrictions on Turkey’s borders and the military situation make their trip more difficult.

According to UCLAT, in the areas controlled by IS, there are some 290 French women, or women who are French residents, and 460 French children, one third of whom have been born there.