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Jakarta Post

ASEAN security cooperation on agenda following IS defeat

  • Dian Septiari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, April 13 2019   /  12:32 am

Late last month, Kurdish-led forces announced they had conquered the last stronghold of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Baghouz, eastern Syria, but the defeat is no cause for relief for countries in Southeast Asia.The question that keeps surfacing is what to do with IS sympathizers and their families who had left their countries and now seek to return, as ASEAN member states explore the need to step up security cooperation as well as individual state responses to act on these so-called returnees.“It is a very difficult question for all ASEAN governments right now. We’re still working out the national response to this because there are IS fighters from several ASEAN member states, [though] not all ASEAN member states,” said Singapore’s permanent representative to ASEAN, Kok Li Peng, in a recent discussion in Depok, West Java.It is estimated that more than 1,000 people had...