FILE PHOTO: Men, who the Democratic Forces of Syria fighters claimed were Islamic State fighters, walk as they are taken prisoners after SDF advanced in the southern rural area of Manbij, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria May 31, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said/File Photo
By Idrees Ali
ROME (Reuters) – As U.S.-backed militias in Syria capture a growing number of Islamic State militants, the United States wants to see foreign fighters returned to their countries of origin for prosecution, a senior Pentagon official said on Sunday.
The question of how to deal with captured foreign fighters received renewed attention when U.S. officials said the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – an alliance of militias dominated by the Kurdish YPG – had captured two of four militants known as the “Beatles” for their English accents.
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States was in talks with the British about what to do with them but at this point there were no plans to bring them to the United States or Guantanamo Bay.
About a dozen members of the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State will meet in Rome this week, where the United States, led by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, will emphasise the need for countries to take back foreign Islamic State detainees.
“We are working with the coalition on foreign fighter detainees, and generally expect these detainees to return to their country of origin for disposition,” Katie Wheelbarger, the principle deputy assistant secretary of defence for international security affairs, said.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)