Isis Britons held hostage in Syria moved by the US

Cheryl Sanders
October 10, 2019

The Turkish invasion of the Kurdish-held region, launched on Wednesday morning, threw into doubt the continued custody of the pair.

Yet, in a sign of the seriousness of the crisis unfolding in northeastern Syria, the two British members of an ISIS cell known as the Beatles, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, were swiftly transferred to U.S. military custody on Wednesday, ending months of legal and moral wrangling about what to do with them.

US officials said American forces are not out doing patrols looking for Islamic State group fighters because their Kurdish partners are more focused on the Turkish fight.

They were moved on Wednesday from a Kurdish-run prison in Syria to a safe location, officials said.


We are taking them out and putting them in different locations, where it's secure.

Mohammed Emwazi, a member of the group who earned notoriety as "Jihadi John" was killed in a 2015 USA drone strike, Aine Davis, another member of the terror cell is serving a prison sentence in Turkey.

"We are taking some of the most unsafe ISIS fighters out and we're putting them in different locations where it's secure", Mr Trump said.

"The Beatles" cell allegedly beheaded Americans James Foley, Steven Sotloff and Peter Kassig, as well as other Western hostages, with many others tortured.


US President Donald Trump called the pair the "worst of the worst" in a Tweet, where he also proclaimed the US removed them due to security concerns.

The SDF have been holding prisoner some 10,000 captured Islamic State group fighters, which includes around 2,000 of foreign nationality.

The number of Britons held in Isis jails is estimated by security sources to be around 30, and the United Kingdom has largely pursued a policy of ignoring them, arguing that they travelled to Syria at their own risk, a country where there has been no consular support since the start of the civil war in 2011. They have not been moved but are mainly staying in place to avoid attacks. His British citizenship was stripped by the United Kingdom government over the summer, leaving him with his Canadian nationality inherited from his father. The men said that their home country's revoking of their citizenship denies them a fair trial. "And they should go back to Germany and France", Trump said Wednesday.

"We don't want them either", he said. The Kurdish administration in Syria had called for them to be put on trial locally, although that would have required global co-operation to establish.


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