Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

American Fighting for Daesh Captured in Syria

The reality of the frontline in Raqqa Image A combined partnership of Kurds Arabs and Christians battle the remnants of IS
Melinda Barton | 17 September, 2017, 14:11

US military officials say a man believed to be an American citizen who was fighting with Islamic State militants has surrendered in Syria and is now in USA custody.

Asked about the American's capture, Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the US -led coalition fighting the Islamic State, said at a briefing Thursday, "Regardless of the nationality, ISIS will be defeated, and our goal is to defeat them, regardless of where you come from".

"The U.S. citizen is being legally detained by Department of Defense personnel as a known enemy combatant", Maj.

As to when and where the surrender took place was not immediately made clear.

The Justice Department did not respond to requests for information, and the State Department said it had none.

According to the Daily Beast, he was captured; according to spokespeople for the USA military, he "surrendered".

US officials said they are working out what they will do with the man, if he is confirmed as an American.

Mohamad Jamal Khweis, 27, was captured by Kurdish forces in northern Iraq in March 2016. The vast majority have been from the Middle East and North Africa, with substantial numbers from Europe and former Soviet republics with large Muslim populations.

ISIS is a large movement which has attracted a lot of Western recruits, which has long fueled fear about what happens when they return home, particularly in the cases of those not caught, but who fled the battlefield.

Abu Khawla was a member of a Free Syrian Army rebel group in Deir al-Zor until Islamic State took over most of the province in 2014 at the height of its expansion in Syria and Iraq. This week it sentenced a Russian-born Islamic State fighter to death.

A senior aide to President Bashar al-Assad said the Government would fight any force, including the US-backed fighters, to recapture the entire country.

In June, a USA man who had traveled to Raqqa in December 2015 was convicted of helping IS.

Manning said that in Syria coalition military forces conducted 16 strikes against ISIS targets on September 14 near Dayr Az Zawr city and Raqqa.

About a year later, the Guardian reported on foreign fighters trying to flee the conflict and noted that a US citizen - Kary Paul Kleman of Florida - surrendered to Turkish border police.

The prisoner whose detention was announced Thursday is the first known to have been captured under the Trump administration.

Islamic State is also coming under attack by USA -backed Iraqi government forces just over the border from Syria's Deir al-Zor inside Iraq.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said on early Sunday morning that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had phoned Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday to discuss the Syria situation and how the "anti-terrorism" battle on the ground was playing out. "Air power will be the main determining factor".