US to hand over to Iraq Daesh members evacuated from Syria

A member of the US-backed SDF stands guard next to men waiting to be screened after being evacuated out of the last territory held by Daesh near Baghouz, eastern Syria. (AP Photo)
Updated 10 October 2019

US to hand over to Iraq Daesh members evacuated from Syria

  • Nearly 50 militants are expected to be handed over in the coming hours
  • Not clear whether they include two British militants who were moved out of a detention center in Syria and are now in US custody

BAGHDAD: Two Iraqi intelligence officials say the US is planning to hand over to Iraqi authorities dozens of members of the Daesh group recently transferred from Syria.
The officials said the nearly 50 militants are expected to be handed over in the coming hours.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media. They declined to provide details or say whether they included two British militants who were moved out of a detention center in Syria and were now in US custody, according to US officials.
The two are believed to be part of an Daesh cell nicknamed “The Beatles” that beheaded foreign hostages in Syria.
The transfer of militants comes after the White House said Turkey will take over responsibility for the thousands of imprisoned fighters in Syria.


US lawmakers set measure opposing Trump on Syria troop withdrawal

In this file photo taken on September 8, 2019 US troops walk past a Turkish military vehicle during a joint patrol with Turkish troops in the Syrian village of al-Hashisha on the outskirts of Tal Abyad town along the border with Turkish troops. (AFP)
Updated 16 October 2019

US lawmakers set measure opposing Trump on Syria troop withdrawal

  • Senate and House aides said lawmakers were working on legislation to impose stiffer sanctions on Turkey, hoping to force Turkish President Erdogan to halt his military campaign in northeastern Syria

WASHINGTON: US Democratic lawmakers, joined by some of President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans, introduced a resolution on Tuesday opposing Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from Syria, the latest sign of deep disapproval in Congress of his action.
“We have always maintained that, while certainly needed, a sanctions package alone is insufficient for reversing this humanitarian disaster,” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement introducing the resolution.
In addition to Pelosi and Schumer, the resolution was led by Representatives Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Mike McCaul, the committee’s top Republican.
It also is backed by Senators Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Todd Young, a Republican member of that panel.
Senate and House aides said lawmakers were working on legislation to impose stiffer sanctions on Turkey, hoping to force Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to halt his military campaign in northeastern Syria.
Several sanctions bills were introduced in the Senate and House, supported by Democrats and some of Trump’s fellow Republicans, before Trump said he would impose sanctions.
Trump announced a set of sanctions on Monday to punish Ankara, and a senior Trump administration official said on Tuesday that Washington would threaten more sanctions to persuade Turkey to reach a cease-fire and halt its offensive. The measures — mainly a hike in steel tariffs and a pause in trade talks — were less robust than financial markets had anticipated. Trump’s critics derided them as too feeble to have an impact, and the Turkish currency recovered.