The countries of Europe “must take for themselves” the IS militants remaining in Syrian prisons *. About this, US President Donald Trump wrote on his Twitter.
“In the hands of the United States are the most dangerous IS militants. Turkey and the Kurds should not let them escape. Europe had to take them back, which was repeatedly requested. Right now. These people will never get to the USA, they will never be allowed into our country, ”the head of the White House emphasized.
Recall, last week, Trump confirmed that Washington took out two “particularly dangerous” IS fighters from Syria - the British, Aleksand Koti and al-Shafi Elshayh, who are credited with reprisals against 27 captives, including American journalists James Fowley and Stephen Sotloff.
At the same time, according to The New York Times, in Syrian prisons for captured ISIS militants there are still about 11 thousand people, of which about 9 thousand are Syrians or Iraqis, and 2 thousand people from 50 other countries whose authorities refused repatriate them.
It is worth noting that Trump is not the first time calls on Europe to "take" the Ishilovites to itself. Earlier, the American president made a similar statement in August, threatening European states to free Washington-held terrorists.
“We are holding thousands of IS fighters, and we want Europe to take them. And if they do not pick them up, then we will probably have to release them to Europe, ”Trump told reporters then.
In addition, at the end of April, the American leader recalled that the United States detained 1.8 thousand IS supporters who were captured during the fighting in Syria. Trump then stated that Washington had not yet decided what to do with these “dangerous prisoners.”
“European countries do not help at all, although this is largely done in their interests,” Trump said on Twitter.
- Destroyed buildings in Idlib, Syria
- © Khalil Ashawi
Trump said in February that European countries should “pick up” more than 800 IS fighters who were captured by the US military in the SAR and bring them to justice. He emphasized that the United States "does a lot and spends a lot" in Syria. According to him, "it's time for the rest to do the work that they are capable of."
Recall that since September 2014, the United States and its allies have been conducting a military operation in Syria and Iraq, not coordinated with the SAR authorities, designed to free the territory of the Arab Republic from IS fighters.
"Old American habit"
At the same time, Trump has repeatedly announced the "victory" of the United States over the "Islamic State." So, in March, the head of the White House signed a statement stating that the United States, along with “partners in the international coalition against the IG ... freed all the territories controlled by the IG in Syria and Iraq.”
A few days later, during his speech at the CPAC Republican conference, the American leader said that the Islamic State caliphate would "be 100% destroyed in the coming days."
However, the Permanent Representative of Syria to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, called these statements a bluff.
“The IS is not over with Syria yet ... Russia, Syria are those who are really fighting with the IS, and not the USA and their allies,” Jaafari said.
The Permanent Representative also noted that the IG is "a handful of terrorists from around the world who have come to Syria through the border with neighboring states sponsored by international intelligence services, including the CIA and the British."
Moreover, according to a public opinion poll published in July by the sociological service Pew Research Center, 58% of Americans negatively assess the military operation of the United States in Syria. According to them, this campaign has brought the country more losses than benefits, and "not worth it." According to specialists of the center, 55% of the former US military adhere to the same position.
- US Army in Syria
- © Courtesy Zoe Garbarino / US Army / Handout
As Andrei Sidorov, head of the Department of International Organizations and World Political Processes at the Moscow State University’s Faculty of World Politics, noted in an interview with RT, Trump calls for the repatriation of IS fighters from Syria and announces the U.S. victory over terrorism in the SAR against the backdrop of the apparent failure of the American operation in Syria.
“Firstly, the IS still exists, and secondly, the USA practically did not conduct active military operations against terrorists - they supported the Kurds in certain regions. Most of the militants of the Islamic state were destroyed with the tremendous support of Russia, ”Sidorov stated.
According to him, Trump’s claim of victory over the Islamic State is “an old American habit.”
“The United States uses the same scheme every time: to invade, strike, declare victory and leave, leaving everyone else to deal with the consequences,” the analyst emphasized.
Calling on European countries to “pick up” IS fighters, the head of the White House seeks to “shift responsibility for the consequences of his actions” in the SAR to “European colleagues,” political analyst Alexander Asafov said. In his opinion, Trump's statement is more like an order than a request.
“Trump’s behavior has been in line with the US’s interaction with Europe since 2015 on migration issues. He wants to impose ISIS fighters on Europe, because the United States itself does not seek to accept migrants from the Middle East, ”the analyst said in a conversation with RT.
“Will not take any action”
At the same time, despite Trump’s numerous calls to “pick up” the militants, Europe has made it clear that it will not rush to the repatriation of terrorists, experts say.
So, in March, the German cabinet of ministers approved amendments on the deprivation of German citizenship of persons who are involved in the activities of radical and terrorist groups abroad. The measure will apply to persons with dual citizenship. The main goal of these changes is to prevent the influx of extremists into the country.
Earlier, in February, the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Leuven said that the kingdom will not repatriate citizens who fought in Syria on the side of the Islamic State.
“Sweden and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have warned against travel to this region since 2011. Those who, despite this, went there, cannot count on consular assistance, ”the politician said.
According to Andrei Sidorov, Europe "will not take any action" in response to Trump's calls to pick up IS fighters from Syria.
This position is shared by Alexander Asafov. According to him, "Europeans already have many problems with migration."
- Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Leuven
- © Ints Kalnins
“Europe now spends a lot of money, including on the construction of infrastructure in Turkey, to stop the flow of refugees into EU countries. And taking into account the changing Brussels policy regarding the migration issue, Europe will oppose the fact that the IS fighters are on its territory, ”the expert said.
According to Asafov, European countries hope that the imprisoned terrorists "will remain in the region and will be punished there" or that this issue will be resolved "in some other way."
“European society will accept the extremely negative possible return of IS fighters, so the EU will resist to the last, and most likely, in the end, these people are unlikely to enter the territory of the union,” the analyst concluded.
* “Islamic State” (IG) - the organization was recognized as terrorist by decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2014.