Feb 13, 1:17 PM EST

Mattis: Allies must take responsibility for Syria detainees



Multimedia
Mass. Catholics hold vigil in endangered churches
Convent shuts after helping generations 'overcome'
Inside a Voodoo Gede ceremony
Religion News
Bishop at heart of abuse cover-up claims testifies in Chile

US donors balk at pope's request for $25M for Rome hospital

German ex-priest convicted of sexually abusing boys

Mexican front-runner promotes 'well-being of the soul'

Spain helps keep alive archaic language of Sephardic Jews

Pastor's stance on homosexuality triggers consequences

Philippine rebel chief: Marawi attackers plotted 2nd city

Oklahoma lawmaker delays resolution seeking judge's removal

Pope backs down, OKs resignation of divisive Nigerian bishop

IS claims responsibility for church shooting in Russia

Interactives
Video: The Struggle for Islam

Understanding Islam

Related Stories
French court keeps Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan in prison

Islamic State sympathizer pleads guilty in terrorism case

Iraqi teen arrested in Germany after contacting IS leaders

Top Egyptian Islamist ordered detained for 2 weeks

Parents of sons involved with Islamic State get prison terms

Multimedia
Life After Gitmo
Guantanamo detention center timeline
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's censored military hearing (released 9/13/07)
From suburbia to Guantanamo: The odyssey of Majid Khan

Transcript of Al-Zarnuki
Latest Guantanamo News
Wildfire extinguished at US navy base with help from Cubans

Pentagon says 'soon' on 1st Guantanamo transfer under Trump

USS Cole attack case now on indefinite hold at Guantanamo

Guantanamo Documents
State Department Cable to Diplomats (Feb. 11, 2008)
Hicks' stipulation of fact
Hicks' pretrial agreement
Pentagon acknowledges Geneva Convention protections
D.O.D. list of Gitmo detainees
Detainee Usama Hassan Ahmend Abu Kabir: I like my watch because it is durable
Detainee Abdul Matin: Younger men and women use this watch everywhere
Unnamed detainee: It's a watch. I use it like a watch
Feroz Ali Abbasi's handwritten note released by the Pentagon
Summarized sworn detainee statement released by the Pentagon

ROME (AP) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis urged reluctant allied nations to address a growing crisis by taking responsibility for their citizens who have been detained as foreign fighters for the Islamic State group in Syria.

"Doing nothing is not an option," Mattis said following a conference of defense ministers in Rome that discussed the issue without resolving it. Some governments have expressed little interest in having such militants returned.

"We're gathering up hundreds...of detainees," Mattis told reporters traveling with him. "The important thing is that the countries of origin keep responsibility for them. How they carry out that responsibility, there's a dozen diplomatic, legal or whatever ways. But the bottom line is, we don't want them going back on the street."

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces are currently holding thousands of IS detainees, including hundreds of foreign fighters from a number of nations. Last week, they announced they'd captured two notorious British members of an Islamic State cell who were commonly dubbed "The Beatles" and were known for beheading hostages.

Asked specifically about Britain's move to revoke the citizenship of the two fighters, Mattis repeated his admonishment that countries "bear some sense of responsibility" for their citizens.

"The most important thing is we figure out how we're going to deal with this," Mattis said.

U.S. military officials have confirmed that El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Amon Kotey, who grew up in London, were captured in early January in eastern Syria.

U.S. officials have interrogated the men, who were part of the IS cell that captured, tortured and beheaded more than two dozen hostages, including American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and American aid worker Peter Kassig.

Mattis was asked if the U.S. would take any detainees or if the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility was a possible option. He said he wasn't willing to talk about that.

The priority now, Mattis said, is to "define the problem and then we'll get the solution." He said there's a need for an accurate count of detainees and where they are from. He said there is not a "one-way forward" for all the detainees right now - just the sentiment they must be taken off the battlefield.

There are no known Americans among the detainees. But a U.S. citizen who surrendered to U.S.-backed forces in Syria is being held in Iraq amid a protracted legal fight over his fate.

Most of the foreign fighters are from the region, including Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Hundreds fought alongside IS in recent years as it seized large parts of Syria, raising concerns they'll commit terrorism at home if they return.

Mattis met in Rome with defense ministers from about a dozen other nations participating in the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The meeting coincided with a coalition gathering of diplomatic leaders in Kuwait, including U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

© 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Visit zip2save.com for all your favorite circulars & coupons!

Top Ads


Site Services
Subscribe
E-edition
Place an Ad
Contact Us
Market Place
Classifieds
Jobs
Cars
Real Estate
Deals
Coupons
Sports
Pro Sports
College
High School
Local
Lifestyle
Home and Garden
Food
Living Well
Film
Music
Parents and Kids