March 24, 2018

Possible American citizen fighting for ISIS surrenders, Pentagon says

16 September 2017, 12:57 | Rufus Hill

The western neighborhood of al Dariya in Raqqa city on September 5

The western neighborhood of al Dariya in Raqqa city on September 5

The US military confirmed on Thursday that an American fighting in Syria for the Islamic State has been taken into custody.

Brown said the American was taken into custody on or before Tuesday by Syrian Democratic Forces, a USA -backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab militia fighters in Syria. Adrian Rankine-Galloway said in a statement.

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

Col. Ryan Dillon, the spokesman for the coalition in Iraq and Syria, could not confirm the buses reached their final destination and said the coalition had not had persistent surveillance on them for days.

SOHR also reported "minimizing ISIS organization's scope of control" has meant an escalation of aerial bombing in areas within, north, and south of the city.

US officials declined to publicly identity the American or say where he surrendered or under what circumstances, but they described him as a "known enemy combatant". "The Coalition's mission is to defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and we will pursue ISIS fighters regardless of nationality", he said. "We encourage people not to do that".

"You can't be very bright if you're going over there and doing that".

Mohamed Khweis of Virginia, who briefly joined ISIS and then defected and surrendered to the Kurds in 2016, was held for three months in Iraq and interrogated 11 times - first by a "dirty" team gathering intelligence and then by a "clean" team collecting information to be used in court, according to court documents. He was brought to the USA for a trial and convicted in June of providing material support to ISIS. Earl Brown, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East. "Any private US citizens/civilians who may have traveled to Iraq or Syria to take part in these activities are neither in support of nor part of USA efforts in the region". It is now illegal to try US citizens at military commissions.

He said that five ISIS fighters, clutching leaflets urging surrender dropped by the US on Raqqa in eastern Syria, had turned themselves into the SDF but that a USA citizen was not among them.

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