Abdul Karim Omar, the de facto foreign minister in the Kurdish-held north of the country, said his Syrian Democratic Forces had done their duty by defeating Islamic State, and now Britain must play its part.
In a stark warning, he said the baby of jihadi bride Shamima Begum and dozens of other children could become ‘ticking time bombs’ if left in the Middle East.
Mr Omar said there were around 1,500 children of Islamic State fighters in northern Syria’s refugee camps, along with 800 foreign fighters and 700 foreign wives.
At least six British jihadis are being held in prisons, including two members of the notorious ‘Beatles’ gang accused of beheading western hostages. UK intelligence agencies believe there are dozens of British women and their children spread across three refugee camps.
Mr Omar, joint head of foreign relations for the UK and US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, warned many were likely to escape or be set free in fighting which will follow western forces leaving the country.
He said: ‘This region is not stable politically and militarily and, of course, if there is war and attacks, those fighters and their wives will come back to Britain and be terrorists. Not only the fighters but also the children. If they are not rehabilitated in their countries of origin they will be ticking time bombs.’
He added: ‘We did our duty here in this region. We were able to finish ISIS and capture a lot of them here.
‘These countries should do their duty as well and take their citizens and judge them and take their wives and children too. Britain should take responsibility for its citizens here. They should take Shamima and the others back.’
Mr Omar said Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from the region is a mistake which will lead to a ‘repeat of the Iraq war’, when British and American forces pulled out too soon and left a power vacuum in which Islamic State was able to grow. He warned the world could face a new extremist group even worse than IS.
‘The withdrawal of the US-led coalition before finding a political solution will make another space for terrorists here,’ he added. ‘For example there was Al Qaeda in Iraq and after the US withdrawal they got ISIS.’
Mr Omar, who has a British passport and previously lived in London, also warned of another refugee crisis if the UK and other countries did not help.
He said: ‘We will get attacks from many sides – ISIS, Turkey and the Assad regime.
‘We will have a resistance against these attacks and there will be huge war and this will create huge immigration.
‘There are four million here in the camps and all of those refugees will move again to Europe. The problem is huge we cannot deal with it alone. It is an international issue so everyone should deal with it.’