DAMASCUS, SYRIA (2:40 P.M.) – Following the massive defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, ISIL, IS) in northeastern Syria on March 2019, thousands of the group’s militants and their families have been held in prisons and camps under the control of the US-backed Kurdish forces.
Scores of the captured jihadists are foreign fighters who came along from all over the world to fight the Syrian and Iraqi government forces, and establish the Islamic Caliphate.
The return of those foreign fighters to their original countries is still a controversial issue.
On Friday, President Trump threatened to return ISIS prisoners to the European countries they hailed from, saying the US would drop them at the border and the Europeans will “have to capture them again”.
“So far, they [European countries] have refused, and at some point, I’m going to have to say, ‘I’m sorry, you either take them back or we’re going to let them go at your border.’ And if they don’t take them back, we’re going to probably put them at the border and then they’ll have to capture them again,” Trump said.
CBS’ Holly Williams had a rare access to SDF prisons which hold hundreds of ISIS prisoners, interviewing an American young man who said he had been recruited to ISIS online.
On September 16, ISIS chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, released an audio message urging his fighters to spare no efforts to free ISIS detainees and women held in prisons and detention camps.
The group increased its attacks against the Syrian Army troops, inflicting heavy loses. The terror group claimed responsibility for detonating a roadside bomb which killed and injured several Syrian army soldiers in the southern province of Daraa.
Meanwhile, the Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air force, continue to hammer the Islamic State locations and bases in the Syrian Desert stretching from east Homs to Deir Ezzor governorate.