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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

UK minister: Kill all Britons who fight for ISIL

Rory Stewart, a minister at the department for international development, claimed death was the only way to deal with those who chose to join ISIL

Airstrikes in the past two months have killed several senior ISIL leaders and facilitators in Iraq and Syria, the US-led coalition said. REUTERS
Airstrikes in the past two months have killed several senior ISIL leaders and facilitators in Iraq and Syria, the US-led coalition said. REUTERS

Almost every British ISIL fighter should be killed, a UK minister has said.

Rory Stewart, a minister of state at the department for international development, claimed killing was the only way to deal with those who had "essentially moved away from any kind of allegiance" to the UK to join ISIL.

Admitting there were “very difficult moral issues", the former diplomat told British radio: "They are absolutely dedicated, as members of the Islamic State, towards the creation of a caliphate.

"They believe in an extremely hateful doctrine which involves killing themselves, killing others and trying to use violence and brutality to create an eighth century, or seventh century, state.

"I'm afraid we have to be serious about the fact these people are a serious danger to us, and unfortunately the only way of dealing with them will be, in almost every case, to kill them."

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He added: "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."

Approximately 850 people from the UK have travelled to support or fight for jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, according the British authorities. About half of those are believed to have returned to the UK. The country has also been subject to terrorist attacks.

Britons have also travelled abroad to help fight ISIL. Mr Stewart urged anyone considering doing the same to do so through official channels.

"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.