Trump tells Europe to take back ISIS fighters, warns they could be released – CNN

“Time for others to step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing,” the US President tweeted late Saturday night.
He warned that as ISIS is “ready to fall,” more than 800 prisoners could make their way to Europe.
“The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them,” Trump tweeted.
“The US does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go.”
Trump’s comments come as the area that ISIS now controls has shrunk to just 700 square meters, a commander with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Saturday.
The SDF has launched an offensive to oust ISIS from its last enclave in Syria, in the small town of Baghouz Al-Fawqani in the country’s east.
At its height, the group controlled an area the size of Great Britain and ruled over 10 million people.

UK ‘will not hesitate’ to prevent fighters’ return

On Friday UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said Britain will “not hestitate” to prevent the return of ISIS fighters to the UK, but those who make it back will be investigated and potentially prosecuted.
Downing Street referred CNN to Javid’s Friday statement when asked about Trump’s tweets.
ISIS now controls just 700 square meters in Syria, says SDFISIS now controls just 700 square meters in Syria, says SDF
“We have a range of tough measures to stop people who pose a serious threat from returning to the UK, including depriving them of their British citizenship or excluding them from the UK,” Javid said.
“We closely monitor any returnees who pose a risk and new terror legislation passed this week allows us to make traveling to certain designated regions an offense. We also support communities in their efforts to prevent radicalization.”
The Home Secretary added that it was his priority to “ensure the safety and security of the UK” and that he won’t “let anything jeopardize this.”
Trump’s tweets come days after a British teenager, who joined ISIS in 2015, said she wants to return home after falling pregnant.
Shamima Begum traveled from London to Syria with two of her classmates when she was 15 to join the caliphate. Now 19, she told The Times that she had no regrets about going to Syria but that she wanted to come home “to have my child.” On Saturday, her family’s lawyer announced Begum had given birth to her third child.
In December, Trump announced that troops would be pulled out of Syria because ISIS had been “defeated.”
The US continues to face criticism for the plan, a move that shocked allies, appalled US lawmakers and triggered resignations — including that of Defense Secretary James Mattis.

CNN’s Laura Perez Maestro contributed to this story.

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