Monitor: US Senate seeks expansion of Pentagon missions in Syria to include Daesh prisoners

The US Monitor website said the US Congress was willing to give the Pentagon more freedom to help Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) capture mercenary elements in the war-torn country.

 The site pointed out that the US President Donald Trump's administration, over the past months, called on European allies to play a greater role in dealing with foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq. But some experts worry that the move could create false hope among SDF that face a threat from Turkey and Arab protests in northeastern Syria, as Pentagon's support has been steadfast for the past two years.

Elizabeth Dent, the former adviser to the World Coalition for Daesh Defeat, who is now a non-resident fellow at the Middle East Institute for the Monitor website said, "The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were faithful to all their commitments. When we basically satisfy a small part of their demands, it gives them hope that we are a reliable partner even though we have not met thousands of other things they have asked for."

The building policy came first after the Obama administration called for the ability to build temporary supply points and assembly areas, with a maximum of $ 4 million per project and $ 12 million per year. The Trump administration expanded the powers to engage in the fighting against Daesh in its alleged capital of al-Raqqa, sometime at the height of the fighting in 2017, according to Monitor.

"With mounting evidence that SDF are facing a challenge under the challenge of detention, Congress has decided to re-engage and extend powers until the end of next year. Since the liberation of SDF of the last stronghold of Daesh in March, the population of al-Hol camp, a camp ruled by Autonomous Administration in north and east of Syria, including Daesh mercenaries' families raised to more than 7,000 elements, seven times as many as last year," according to the Pentagon's general inspector.

The site noted that SDF requested the establishment of an international tribunal to try thousands of Daesh mercenaries, who were held to the fighters, but the United States was still trying to encourage the allies, such as France to return Daesh mercenaries and prosecute them.

Nick Heras, a Middle East fellow at the new US Security Center, a Washington-based research center for the Monitor said, "SDF have put great pressure on the United States to create a mechanism to allow the return of Daesh elements to their homeland, the reason for this is that SDF now and most likely in the future do not have the capacity to support prison inmates from thousands of foreign fighters."

The Pentagon is due to host another meeting to counter Daesh in Brussels this week, which will discuss the issue of prisoners, as well as the continued use of the militant group of digital tools to facilitate recruitment and propaganda.

The Senate is trying to address this aspect of the problem in the new defense bill, and the Pentagon is calling for full inter-agency coordination to deal with the detention issue. The Defense Act also calls on the US Department to clarify the number of Daesh fighters, detained by SDF and foreign fighters who will be repatriated every 90 days, beginning early next year.



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