Moscow, Oct 10 (GCCurrentAffairs) US President Donald Trump confirmed media reports on Thursday that the United States had taken into custody two UK citizens and members of the Islamic State terrorist group (IS, or ISIS, banned in Russia), dubbed the Beatles, who had allegedly been involved in gruesome beheadings of Western hostages.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post news outlet said, citing officials, that the US was taking about 40 IS members into its custody from prisons in northern Syria, ahead of Turkey launching a military operation there against Kurdish forces, which had been guarding the prisons, but now were mobilising to defend themselves against Turkey’s incursion.
“In case the Kurds or Turkey lose control, the United States has already taken the 2 ISIS militants tied to beheadings in Syria, known as the [Beatles], out of that country and into a secure location controlled by the US. They are the worst of the worst!” Trump tweeted.
According to media reports, the two IS militants have been relocated to Iraq.
The two UK citizens, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, were members of a UK group of four IS militants. The leader of the group, Mohammed Emwazi, dubbed “Jihadi John,” was killed in an airstrike in November 2015. The fourth member, Aine Lesley Davis, was convicted and sentenced in 2017 in Turkey to seven and a half years in prison.
On Wednesday, Ankara launched a military offensive against Kurdish-led militia in Syria’s north as it claims the Kurdish forces are affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which Turkey designates as a terrorist organisation.
The Turkish offensive in northern Syria has been condemned as aggression by Damascus. Russia has called on Turkey to assess the situation in order not to hamper earlier efforts to settle the Syrian crisis.
The operation has also been met with criticism from regional countries and blocs, including the Arab League, and Western states, including the European Union members.