France has never been a fan of radical Islamist groups, especially since more than 200 people have died in terrorist attacks on home soil over the last three years.
But the country now faces a difficult decision regarding those same terrorist groups. Hundreds of French men and women have left France over the last few years (with many of them going so far as to burn their passports) in order to join ISIS. But now, these same transplants are being held by American-backed Kurdish forces. French president Emmanuel Macron must make the decision this week as to whether or not France wants to repatriate these ISIS fighters. The idea is not popular, but there is great support for bringing home the children of these soldiers, many of whom are still quite young, to live with extended family members.
If repatriated, those ISIS soldiers returning to France would likely be sent to prison (France doesn’t have the death penalty). But if left in Syria, death is by far the more likely outcome. For now, the decision rests squarely on conclusions Macron will come to this week.