‘The only way’ of dealing with British Islamic State fighters is to kill them in almost every case, minister says

22 Oct

However this could allow room for some fighters, identify as less serious offenders, to be allowed to return home.

Mr Stewart, a former diplomat, went on to say: “These are people who are executing people in the back of their heads, who have held women and children hostage, who are torturing and murdering trying by violence to impose their will.

“Our response has to be, when somebody does that, I’m afraid, to deal with that.”

Mr Stewart also said British authorities had made it “very clear” that people should not be volunteering with militia groups to fight IS.

“If you wish to serve your country and you wish to fight terrorism, then please apply to join the military or join the police or join our intelligence services, we’ll train you, we’ll work with you to do it in a legal and controlled fashion,” he said.

Mr Stewart confirmed it remained British policy to remove Syrian president Bashar Assad.

“I don’t think anyone should be in any doubt that the control that he has is brutal and ultimately fragile,” he said.

“The policy of the British Government is that Bashar al-Assad needs to step aside and we need transition to a new government, because so long as that man is in power it is going to be impossible to have a long-term, stable, sustainable future for Syria.”

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