US President Donald Trump said on Twitter recently: “The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial.”
He said: “The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them…”
There are a few points in relation to the recent tweet of the US president: First, the Kurds in northern Syria are allies of the United States, and Daeshis, especially their families and children, are considered to be a burden on the Kurds. Moreover, part of the US financial assistance is given to the Kurds, and now Trump is trying to reduce the pressure on the Kurds by taking this decision.
Another issue is that Trump with his tweet wants to finish the job with ISIS in the next few weeks. In other words, the ISIS at least in the eastern part of Syria will be routed by US bombing of their positions and with the help of the Kurds. The only job that would remain to be done is for the refugees and their families to get settled. That is, European countries must accept and put on trial the ISIS members coming from those countries.
The third issue is Trump’s advice to the Europeans to prosecute the ISIS terrorists which would naturally be controversial among 28 European states. At present, Britain, Germany, and smaller European countries each have a different view and outlook about this issue. Europe, especially the European Union, should act more united on these issues because otherwise, given the open borders of the 28 states, if one of these countries admit ISIS terrorists this will affect the security of the other states in one way or the other. So this will create disagreements between European countries. Moreover, Trump has been seeking to create a rift among the European countries ever since he came to power, and his ultimate goal is the collapse of the EU.
The culmination of these differences was also seen at the Warsaw Conference, during which a group of European countries, in particular, Eastern Europe, sided with the United States, and another group comprising Western and Southern Europe went a different way.
Of course, the Europeans will probably not accept this US request because these ISIS remnants and their families are a big population and will definitely threaten Europe’s security.
Therefore, the likely scenario would be to consider a region in a country which does not enjoy a significant status security wise and strategically and settle these terrorists thereby paying their costs to the host country. Another scenario is to agree to transfer these terrorists to an island.
But in any case, it is unlikely for the European countries to accept these remaining ISIS elements. In addition, if they want to accept these terrorists, the public opinion in these countries should also be ready. Because these people will be troublesome to any country they may go to and the government needs to provide their security.
Meantime, the Europeans want to somehow give those who live in Europe and have extremist thoughts a lesson that they should not join terrorist groups. But if the European states accept these people, they would, in fact, endorse their Salafist fundamentalist thoughts.
It seems that, given the differences of views over this issue between Europe and the United States as well as between the European countries themselves, they may leave these terrorists alone for some time, and when their number in Iraq and Syria is determined they may hold negotiations within a few months to station them in an area outside of Europe that can be controlled.