As Daesh (IS) territory in both Syria and Iraqi is pushed ever smaller, monitoring group Soufan Centre says that some 5,6000 who joined the militant organization have returned to their homes.
A report from the organization says those that return will continue to present a security challenge, especially for many western countries often targeted by the militant group.
However, it also cites a United States official saying that fewer so-called Islamic State fighters have returned then anticipated as Daesh suffers losses to the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, Iraqi military and other anti-militant factions.
The report says that those who stay now will likely stay until the end of the militant group, whether that come soon or down the road.
The US-based Soufan Centre points out that foreigners joining the fight from abroad had slowed drastically in 2015, after countries nearby such as Turkey became more efficient at stopping militant hopefuls from reaching Daesh territory. It was also attributed to militant losses that year.
According to the monitoring group, some 180 Canadians have joined the fight, with 60 since returned and 90 remaining.
Daesh once held swathes of territory in northern Iraq and Syria that it gained during its “lightening strike” in 2014. Since October 2016, massive US-backed offensives have taken Mosul, Raqqa and hundreds of villages.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces claimed victory over the de facto capital of Daesh last week.
An estimated 40,000 fighters from 110 countries have joined IS since 2014.
According to the LA Times, Interpol has placed 19,000 names on an international watch list used at airports and borders, data gleaned from captured Daesh administrative hubs such as Raqqa.
More details to follow. Image 1 of Daesh (IS) flag from Wikimedia Commons.