President Donald Trump took to Twitter over the weekend telling European countries to take back ISIS fighters captured in Syria and put them to trial.
“Time for others to step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing,” the President tweeted late Saturday night, adding that ISIS was “ready to fall” which would result in over 800 prisoners making their way to Europe.
“The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them,” President Trump also tweeted. “The U.S. does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go.”
The President’s comments followed those of a commander with the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, who noted that ISIS now controls only 700 square meters and that an offensive has already been launched to oust the terrorist group from its last enclave in Syria.
The top U.S. general in Iraq, Lieutenant General Paul LaCamera, told CNN on Sunday that the numbers of detainees “are not negligible,” adding that “what happens to them is…the big question.”
“Now here’s the real challenge: if you joined ISIS, you handed over your passport, you handed over your ID card, you handed over your birth certificate and that was destroyed and you were issued into ISIS – so the real question is, it’s not just the prisoners, the detainees, it’s what are we going to do with these stateless people?” the general told reporters.
LaCamera also stressed that the issue of the detainees was “in diplomatic channels.”
“It’s not just the detainees – it is those that have been displaced by ISIS or don’t have an identity,” LaCamera said. “How are we going to deal with them? You know, will the Iraqis take them? And again, if you’re a refugee, you can’t force them back, right?”
On Friday, UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said his country will “not hesitate” to prevent the return of ISIS fighters to the UK, adding, however, that those who do make it back will be investigated and potentially prosecuted.