As the United States military prepares for a full withdrawal from Syria, some are concerned that Islamic State fighters currently being held by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) will be released or others be allowed to rejoin ISIS. Four Republican stalwarts in the Senate are calling on President Trump transfer the worst of these prisoners to Guantanamo Bay.
Senators Tom Cotton, John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio all signed the letter to the President requesting this action.
Proud to join @SenTomCotton, @JohnCornyn & @marcorubio in sending a letter to @POTUS urging him to send battle-hardened ISIS fighters currently detained in Syria to Guantanamo Bay. –> https://t.co/IA8QV0JlhH pic.twitter.com/VKDAXdYRIP
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) January 23, 2019
The President announced the move to pull out of Syria on Twitter last month following a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This prompted the resignation of former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and drew condemnation from people on the left and right who felt the President was abandoning our allies in the war against ISIS.
Turkey has long wanted the United States out of Syria so they could deal with the Kurdish forces that they consider to be terrorists.
This is a smart move to do before the withdrawal, but this letter was also a not-so-subtle reminder to the President that pulling out of Syria quickly will have repercussions. Both National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have tempered the President’s remarks by saying the United States will pull out just as soon as ISIS is fully defeated.
One thing is certain: if these terrorists and militants are not moved to Guantanamo Bay, many if not all of them will eventually return to the Islamic State to continue their mission against the the rest of the world.