More than 800 foreign terrorists from over 40 countries are detained by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Department of Defense spokesman Cmdr. Sean Robertson told CNN on February 2.
According to the American TV network, U.S. officials believe that the number of detained foreign terrorists is likely to grow as many of those fighters remaining in the ISIS-held pocket in the middle Euphrates River Valley will fail to escape eventually.
The officials are reportedly concerned about the fate of those detainees following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria, especially that Turkey may launch a military attack on the areas held by the SDF.
These detainees are currently held in several prisons in northeastern Syria run by the SDF and funded by the U.S., as a recently report by the New York Times has revealed. The Kurdish-dominated group can’t hand the detainees over to their countries or charge them because it is not recognized as a sovereign government.
However, France has expressed its will to take back its citizens illegally. Many other countries, especially in the West, may opt to do the same if Trump carries on with the decision to withdraw troops from Syria.