Eight Austrian citizens are still fighting in Syria, Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leiter (ÖVP) said on Tuesday in parliament, in response to a question from the Freedom Party.
About 100 people had travelled from Austria to Syria to join the rebel groups that were fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Forty of them had already returned to Austria, Der Standard newspaper reported on Tuesday. The majority of these people were not Austrian citizens.
Mikl-Leitner, Justice Minister Wolfgang Brandstätter and Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz recently presented a joint package to clamp down on Austrian passport holders who are fighting in the Syrian civil war.
They said that this law should also apply to people who joined foreign paramilitary groups as well as non-Austrian armies.
It is currently only possible to revoke citizenship if the person is a citizen of another country as well. Otherwise, the person would be stateless.