Justice Minister Koen Geens tries to reassure Belgians after foreign fighters' esape

Speaking in the VRT's current affairs programme "Terzake", Justice Minister Koen Geens has said that the situation in the north of Syria is "serious", but also that there is no reason to panic. He was speaking after reports that two Belgian jihadi fighters escaped from a Kurdish prison in northern Syria, yesterday. Their escape is triggering concerns among Belgian citizens. 

Koen Geens (Christian democrat) argued that there are two reasons that we should not panic. First, it is very difficult for jihadi fighters to get into Europe. "The border with Turkey is closed and is being monitored very strictly. Escaping via Jordan from the north-east of Syria is impossible, and Iraq is very inhospitable." 

Mr Geens could/would not say that Belgium "has things under control", as Terzake reporter Kathleen Cools asked him, because it is not just up to Belgium in this matter. However, he is confident that things will not run out of hand after the Turkish invasion in northern Syria, and that more foreign terrorist fighters would escape. 

"Syria has taken over the Kurdish army, they are both one army now. And Russia has entered the scene to support them - Russia also has a lot of jihadi fighters, and for them it also important to keep things under control." Koen Geens thinks that these three powers together, who have every interest of keeping the prison doors locked, will provide a stable situation. 

Top stories