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Iran Press TV

We don't know what to do with foreign ISIL militants: Mattis

Iran Press TV

Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:13PM

There has been no agreement among members of the so-called coalition against the Daesh Takfiri terrorists on what to do with the militants from those countries, says US Defense Secretary James Mattis.

The Pentagon chief made the comments among reporter travelling with him from the Italian capital Rome to the Belgian capital Brussels on Tuesday.

His comments came following a closed-door coalition meeting there over the issue, which was "not resolved in a final way."

"The important thing is that the countries of origin keep responsibility for them," Mattis said. "How they carry out that responsibility, there's a dozen different diplomatic, legal or whatever ways, I suppose. But the bottom line is, we don't want them going back on the street."

He further asserted that "doing nothing is not an option."

The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have recently captured two British militants, part of an ISIL cell known as "The Beatles" for their English accents.

"We don't want them on the street in Ankara. We don't want them on the street in Tunis, Paris or Brussels. We don't need them in Kuala Lumpur or New Delhi. We don't need them in Kabul or Riyadh," Mattis said. "My point is it's an international problem. It needs to be addressed, and we're all engaged on doing that."

He declined to say whether the detainees would be sent to the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison.

"I'm not willing to say anything on that right now," Mattis said. "I think the best thing to do is to define the problem and then we'll get to solutions. We need to know how many of these guys are in what status, what countries are they from, and so I don't want to jump to offering solutions before I've defined the problem."

About the British detainees, the Pentagon chief said London should take the responsibility.

"My view is that the country of origin that they were citizens of bears some sense of responsibility," he continued. "How they deal with that responsibility, I'm not a lawyer. I'm not an international law person, but I know one thing: they shouldn't be allowed back on the street."

The Daesh Takfiri terrorists were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan to destabilize the Syrian government.

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