President Donald Trump Wednesday appeared to rule out sending the thousands of ISIS foreign fighters currently being detained by US allies in Syria to the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying that the ISIS detainees should be repatriated to their countries of origin.
“We’re going to tell them and we’ve already told them take these prisoners that we’ve captured because the United States is not going to put them in Guantanamo for the next 50 years and pay for it,” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn.
Demands that European countries voluntarily receive those of their citizens who are imprisoned for fighting for ISIS.
In the echo of the presidential helicopter, Donald Trump said that unless Europe voluntarily accepts the citizens now in detention camps for IS supporters in northeastern Syria, then he has no choice but to release them in their home countries – Germany, France and other countries , as he put it – which could very well mean ISIS supporters who are Swedish citizens.
Trump did not explain in detail how such an operation would go in practical terms, but said a return to Europe is the only solution, as the US does not intend to put IS prisoners in the Guantánamo camp in Cuba and pay the cost of it for the next fifty years.
The thousands who camp in Syria come from some fifty countries, many of them European.
At least 2,000 of the prisoners are believed to have been regular combatants who, with strong IS sympathies in their luggage, traveled from their home countries in the west and participated in war and terrorist acts in the name of the caliphate.
Others have come from elsewhere in the world, and very many of the IS members have – or have left behind – wives and children, who are now also captured.
In addition to trying to pressure European countries to voluntarily withdraw citizens from ISIS camps, Trump also put increased pressure on countries in the region to step up the war against IS. He pointed to Russia, Iraq and India, as well as Turkey.
Trump continues to claim, on the one hand, that US and US-backed forces have largely eradicated ISIS “to a hundred percent” … as he says, but on the other hand says the US does not intend to take the necessary ongoing fight against ISIS in the coming year.
State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus on Wednesday announced new rewards for information leading to the identification or location three ISIS leaders — Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla, Sami Jasim Muhammad al-Jaburi and Mu’taz Numan ‘Abd Nayif Najm al-Jaburi.
“This announcement comes at an important time as the global coalition to defeat ISIS and our partners on the ground continue to target ISIS remnants,” she said.