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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Donald Trump wants Europe to take back their IS recruits

President Donald Trump has threatened to releases hundreds of Islamic State fighters captured by the United States in Syria if Britain, Germany and other European countries did not take back their nationals among them, and put them on trial.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2019 22:37 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
US President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019.
US President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. (Bloomberg file photo)
         

President Donald Trump has threatened to releases hundreds of Islamic State fighters captured by the United States in Syria if Britain, Germany and other European countries did not take back their nationals among them, and put them on trial.

“The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS (Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, another name for the outfit) fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial,” the president wrote on Twitter Saturday.

The alternative, he warned is not good. “The U.S. does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go.”

And, he added, “We are pulling back after 100% Caliphate victory!”

The president announced last December the IS had been decimated and that he was pulling out the 2,000 US troops deployed to combat the terrorist organization in Syria.

Differences persist among his official though on the extent of the damage inflicted on the IS. Secretary of defense James Mattis quit in protest against US exit, and the Pentagon and the US intelligence community have also said that though they agree the Islamic State has been diminished significantly the war is no over. And that they could be lying low for now and may re-emerge after the US troops had left.

The sprawling IS caliphate, that had once included vast swatches of territory in Syria and Iraq, has shrunk to a tiny encampment in the village of Baghouz on the eastern banks of the Euphrates river, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Saturday.

President Trump has said a complete victory is at hand. ““It should be formally announced sometime probably next week that we will have 100 percent of the caliphate,” the president said in an address to diplomats and officials of the 30 countries that form the “Global Coalition to defeat ISIS”, recently.

The American president’s threat to release the captured IS fighters comes amidst a debate taking place in European countries on what to with them. Some countries, such as France, have announced they will take back their nationals.

But the British have been less willing. The cabinet is split, for instance, on the question of Shamima Begum, a London teenager who fled to Syria in 2015. She is currently at a Syrian refugee camp, pregnant, and wants to return.

First Published: Feb 17, 2019 22:37 IST

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