PST believes Norwegian ISIL soldiers will continue fighting in Raqqa
The Police Security Service (PST) believes Norwegian foreign fighters in Raqqa are likely to continue to fight for the so called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and will thus, not return to Norway.
After US-supported Syrian democratic troops surrounded Raqqa in late June, the coalition against ISIL claimed that approximately 2,500 ISIL soldiers remained in the city.
Since then, the democratic forces, who are receiving solid air-support from the US, have penetrated Raqqa from several fronts. So far, they’ve managed to regain control of approximately half of the city, where there are still thousands of civilians living.
It is unclear how many foreign fighters remain in Syria, and if any of them are Norwegian. However, PST knows that there are presently approximately 40 people from Norway who are connected to ISIL, and probably most of them are in Raqqa, reported NRK news.
Will be arrested on their return
PST chief, Benedicte Bjørnland, doesn’t think they’ll return home, although the city is under severe pressure.
‘We have the impression that those who are there now have been there for a long time. And they are ideologically convinced that the so-called ‘caliphate’, and ISIL’s goals and objectives are worth fighting for. Another factor is that ISIL punishes deserters with death, which may also have a deterrent effect,’ she said.
At the same time, the PST chief emphasised that those who do return home can expect to be arrested, detained in custody, and prosecuted if there is evidence of justification for it.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today