Adam Hoffman and Marta Furlan co-published an article in The Program on Extremism at George Washington University. This article discusses the different challenges posed by the return of foreign ISIS fighters to their home countries and presents a survey of 64 states' responses to their returning foreign fighters.
"When the US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) recovered the last pocket of territory from under the control of the Islamic State in March 2019, the problem of how to deal with the foreign fighters who had joined IS but were now seeking to return to their countries of origin (or might do so the near future) became increasingly pressing. The issue became even more urgent following President Trump's decision to withdraw US forces from northeast Syria in October 2019, which enabled Turkey's military operation in the area. In response to this offensive, Syrian Kurds affiliated with the SDF have threatened to abandon their posts guarding ISIS detention camps. The potential escape of thousands of ISIS prisoners could create an immediate security threat to countries across the world as many of these fighters could attempt to return to their home countries and carry out terror attacks there. Finally, Turkey’s forced repatriation program, which began in November 2019, returned many ISIS foreign fighters to their home countries, including those in Western Europe. Announcing the start of this policy, Turkish interior minister Süleyman Soylu said that Turkey was “not a hotel” for Islamic State detainees from other countries. All of these events have forced states to deal with the challenges posed by returning foreign fighters."