Growing number of Western Isil fighters trying to defect as losses mount in Syria and Iraq

Disenchanted Western Islamic State fighters are increasingly appealing to their governments to help them return home, diplomats have reported.

As fighting around Isil’s strongholds intensifies and the group loses vast swathes of territory, foreign jihadists are trying to defect in record numbers.

More than 150 from six countries have in the last few months contacted their missions in Turkey, which neighbours the Islamist group’s territory in Syria and Iraq.