SARAJEVO – Two ISIS fighters from Bosnia-Herzegovina will be repatriated from Syria, where they had been captured by the US backed SDF. In a statement released by Bosnia’s Security Minister Dragan Mektic, Bosnia-Herzegovina have agreed to take back their nationals from Syria. They said one of the men went to Syria and joined in 2013.
According to Bosnia’s Security Minister Dragan Mektic the Bosnian nations had been fighting inside Syria for several years prior to their capture by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Officials said the two are expected to be transferred to Bosnia by the end of March, though this violates Syria’s laws. It remains unclear what Bosnia intends to do with these ISIS fighters.
ISIS’ precursor, Al Qaeda was active in the war which destroyed Yugoslavia in the 1990’s, and their role was backed by Saudi Arabia then as now. Such Wahhabi and Muslim Brotherhood brigades, whether comprised of indigenous Bosniaks or foreign fighters, were critical in the formation of the modern state of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The modern state is comprised of two major autonomous republics, one being the Serbian Republic (not to be confused with the Republic of Serbia with its capital in Belgrade, just adjacent to Bosnia-Herzegovina) and the other known as the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina comprised of a Croatian entity and a Bosniak-Muslim entity.
The transfer and release of the ISIS terrorists runs contrary to Syrian law and standing international accords, and the SDF is itself an illegal formation. According to Syrian law, Damascus would have to make any arrangements with Sarajevo for the transfer of captured fighters. Normally Damascus would try the terrorists within Syria’s sovereign court system.
Given that ISIS and the SDF are U.S backed projects – some experts claiming the CIA and Pentagon respectively – and that the U.S also had a role in backing the Wahhabi fighters for the Bosniak side in the Yugoslav civil war, the transfer of these fighters home may not lead to their arrest.
The largest ISIS/Al Qaeda training camp north of the Mediterranean and West of Istanbul is in the Bosniak administered areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
top image of 90’s era Bosnian Wahhabists – for illustrative purposes