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US forces have 1,000 ISIS detainees — and don’t know what to do with them

As the U.S. and its partners retake the final pieces of land controlled by ISIS, they are struggling to process hundreds of ISIS detainees. The fighters come from dozens of countries and are under the detention of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is not a nation state connected to formal processes designed to handle these questions. The U.S and its allies are worried that, as a reunification of Syria becomes more likely (rather than an independent state setup by the SDF), the chaos of the resulting transition would allow ISIS fighters to escape. “How we reduce that threat and keep those people properly detained and handled over time is of paramount importance right now,” stated the head of the U.S. Special Operations. The U.S. State Department has been working to encourage countries around the world whose citizens have been detained as ISIS fighters to bring them back to their home countries and prosecute them. While some of the detainees will be processed in this way, it is likely that hundreds more, some of them “high value” detainees, will be left to the SDF and the U.S.. While some have suggested placing them in Guantanamo Bay, this has been identified by several officials as an “option of last resort.” 

Source: US forces have 1,000 ISIS detainees — and don’t know what to do with them

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