Washington transfers two British jihadis from Syria into United States custody

Elias Hubbard
October 10, 2019

Other officials said they and other high-value detainees were being placed in United States military custody, but could not say where they were being taken.

Turkey on Wednesday launched airstrikes, fired artillery and began a ground offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria after USA troops pulled back from the area.

Kotey and Elsheikh are the most notorious of several dozen ISIS detainees taken into custody by the US, The Washington Post reported.

Two "high-value" jihadists held by Syrian Kurds have been taken into U.S. custody and moved out of the country, a defense official said Wednesday, as reports identified them as notorious British fighters dubbed "The Beatles".

The Turkish invasion of the Kurdish-held region, launched on Wednesday morning, threw into doubt the continued custody of the pair.

One other was killed in a drone strike and the fourth is imprisoned on terror charges in Turkey.

"The Beatles" cell allegedly beheaded Americans James Foley, Steven Sotloff and Peter Kassig, as well as other Western hostages, with many others tortured.

US President Donald Trump had earlier said that the US was taking steps to prevent the potential escape of particularly unsafe Islamic State group fighters amid the Turkish offensive.

Mr Trump told reporters: "We are taking some of the most unsafe Isis fighters out".

Washington has repeatedly called on London to take their Daesh fighters back, but British authorities claimed in 2018 there was "not enough evidence" to prosecute them in their country of origin and suggested the two be tried in the US.

The SDF have been holding prisoner some 10,000 captured Islamic State group fighters, which includes around 2,000 of foreign nationality.

He said the decision to remove them from Syria had been taken "in case the Kurds or Turkey lose control".

"If the Kurds don't watch, Turkey will watch".

Turkey says it wants to create a "safe zone" on the border for numerous Syrian refugees on its territory.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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