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US pushes for home countries to take back detainees in Syria

2018/02/13 | 19:00

(Iraq Now News)- The United States is urging allied nations to help deal with the growing number of foreign fighters that are being held by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, saying the militants should be turned over to face justice in their home countries, Military Times reported. U.S.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to raise the issue during a meeting in Rome this week with other members of the coalition that is fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.The SDF is currently holding thousands of ISIS detainees, including hundreds of foreign fighters from a number of nations.The issue became more prominent in recent days, after the announcement that the SDF had captured two notorious British members of an Islamic State cell who were commonly dubbed “the Beatles” and were known for beheading hostages.“We’re working with the coalition on foreign fighter detainees, and generally expect these detainees to return to their country of origin for disposition,” said Kathryn Wheelbarger, the principal deputy assistant defense secretary for international security affairs.“Defense ministers have the obligation and the opportunity to really explain to their other ministers or their other Cabinet officials just the importance to the mission, to the campaign, to make sure that there’s an answer to this problem.”Speaking to reporters traveling with Mattis to Europe, Wheelbarger said the key goal is to keep the fighters off the battlefield and unable to travel to other cities.

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