According to Reuters news reports, the handover was the first of several, according to two Iraqi military sources who reported to Reuters, under a pact brokered to hand over a total of 502 fighters.
A military colonel whose unit is stationed at the Syrian border said: “The majority of the fighters are Iraqi. But we have a few foreigners.”
The mayor of Iraqi border town Al-Qaim, Ahmed al-Mahallawi, said some fighters’ families were also transferred. He said, “Early this morning, 10 trucks loaded with Daesh fighters and their families were handed over by SDF forces to the Iraqi army.”
He added, “The majority of them are Iraqis and the convoy was under maximum security protection headed to the Jazeera and Badiya military headquarters.” Both bases are located in Anbar province.
The news regarding the handover of Iraqi came as SDF were preparing to launch an assault on the militants’ group’s final enclave in eastern Syria.
The last civilians are expected to be evacuated on Thursday, to clear the way for the assault, the SDF said.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has on Tuesday said Iraq was very carefully monitoring the movement and situation at its Syrian border amidst the concern that the Islamic State fighters still poses a threat to Iraq and that they could stream across the border.