June 17, 2019

Congress expands Pentagon aid in Syria to cover Islamic State prisoners

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: Al-Monitor

Journalist Jack Detsch

Congress wants to give the Pentagon more freedom to help US-backed forces in Syria detain Islamic State fighters in the war-torn country.

The Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act released last week expands an authority the Pentagon can use to build small-scale temporary facilities such as ammunition and resupply points in Syria to also support the detention of Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS) fighters. The new bill calls for expanding previous assistance to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to also cover the “temporary detention and repatriation” of foreign fighters “in accordance with” international law.

For months, the Donald Trump administration has called on European allies to play a bigger role in dealing with captured foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq. But some experts worry that the move could create false hope among the SDF, which faces a threat from Turkey and protests from Arabs in northeast Syria, as the Pentagon’s support has remained flat over the past two years

Read the full article and more in Al-Monitor.

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. He is also a Senior Analyst at the Jamestown Found...