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Trump says he could release Daesh fighters into Europe

Middle East | 2019-08-21 22:02:00
Trump says he could release Daesh fighters into Europe
U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that if Europe does not take Daesh (ISIS) fighters held as prisoners, he will have to release them into the countries from which they came, such as Germany and France.

Thousands of people, including men, women and children from more than 50 countries, are lingering in detention camps in northeastern Syria, held by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The group includes at least 2,000 suspected foreign fighters, many from Western countries, whose fates remain unresolved against a backdrop of protracted diplomacy.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Trump also said other countries will need to take up the fight against Daesh militants, citing Russia, Pakistan and Iran as examples.

Earlier this year, U.S.-backed forces reclaimed the last remaining territory once held by Daesh militants in Syria. Since then however, there has been concern about the militant group gaining new strength in Iraq and Syria.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged on Tuesday that Daesh militants are gaining strength in some areas but said the militant group's capacity to conduct attacks has been greatly diminished.

In Afghanistan, a deal between the Taliban and the United States for U.S. forces to withdraw from their longest-ever war could drive some diehard Taliban fighters into the arms of Daesh, Afghan officials and militants say.

The Afghan affiliate of Daesh, known as Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), after an old name for the region, first appeared in eastern Afghanistan in 2014, and has since made inroads into other areas, particularly the north.


 
Reuters
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