Trump calls on European allies to take back 800 Isis fighters captured in Syria

  2019-02-17 11:26      121 View Count        Comment
US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighters take up positions against Isis militants in the Syrian village of Baghuz. Photograph: Felipe Dana/AP

Donald Trump has asked his European allies to “take back over 800” Islamic State fighters captured in Syria and put them on trial.
“The Caliphate is ready to fall,” the US president said in a tweet. “The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them ...”
It came as US-backed fighters in Syria were poised to capture Isis’s last, tiny enclave on the Euphrates, the battle commander said on Saturday, bringing its self-declared caliphate to the brink of total defeat.
Jiya Furat said the Syrian Democratic Forces had cornered the remaining militants in a neighbourhood of the village of Baghuz near the Iraqi border, under fire from all sides.
“In the coming few days, in a very short time, we will spread the good tidings to the world of the military end of Daesh,” he said, using the Arabic name for Isis.
As the SDF advanced under heavy US airstrikes in recent days, a stream of civilians fled the few square kilometres of hamlets and farmland that remained within Isis’s caliphate, along with defeated jihadists trying to escape unnoticed.
On Friday the Guardian reported a co alition commander said Isis fightershad shot and wounded fleeing family members trying to escape from the area.
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Foreign fighters and families have featured prominently among those who have fled Baghuz. The town had been a collection point for extremists who had fled other towns and villages across Syria and Iraq, and is thought to be the last redoubt of zealots who had fought in numerous clashes across both countries.
On Thursday Shamima Begum, 19, one of three east London schoolgirls who left the UK in 2015 to join Isis, was discovered in the al-Hawl refugee camp in north-east Syria after fleeing the enclave.
Late on Saturday Trump tweeted: “The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 Isis fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial.”
“The US does not want to watch as these Isis fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go. We do so much, and spend so much – Time for others to step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing. We are pulling back after 100% Caliphate victory!”
Trump has said he will pull US forces from Syria after Isis’s territorial defeat, raising questions over the fate of Washington’s Kurdish allies and Turkish involvement in north-east Syria.

Source: The Guardian

 

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