Donald Trump says Europe is not helping with ISIS prisoners in Syria

Britain held talks on the ISIS threat after the re-emergence of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi

Members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces walk in the village of Baghouz in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border a day after the ISIS "caliphate" was declared defeated. AFP
Members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces walk in the village of Baghouz in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border a day after the ISIS "caliphate" was declared defeated. AFP

US President Donald Trump has criticised European countries for refusing to take back foreign ISIS fighters imprisoned in Syria by coalition forces.

The American leader said US involvement in fighting against the terror group in Syria had been done for the benefit of European nations.

"We have 1,800 ISIS Prisoners taken hostage in our final battles to destroy 100% of the Caliphate in Syria. Decisions are now being made as to what to do with these dangerous prisoners," Mr Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

"European countries are not helping at all, even though this was very much done for their benefit. They are refusing to take back prisoners from their specific countries. Not good!"

Earlier on Tuesday, Britain’s Middle East minister held a roundtable of ambassadors from across the region to discuss the potential threat posed by ISIS.

Mark Field said that he had discussed what the next phase of tackling ISIS could be, on the back of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi reappearing after five years in new images circulated on Monday despite the extremist group being wiped out on the battlefields of Syria.

“[ISIS] once controlled territory roughly the size of the UK, but thanks to the military campaign by the Global Coalition and its partners on the ground it no longer occupies land. 7.7 million people have been liberated from its rule,” said Mr Field.

“But as the Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has said, ‘we cannot be complacent. Even without territory, [ISIS] and its poisonous ideology will continue to pose a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, as well as to the wider world.”

Baghdadi claimed the Sri Lanka terror attacks on Monday in a video but it remains unclear as to when the footage was filmed.

Baghdadi also accepted oaths of allegiance from leaders of factions in Mali, Burkina Faso and Afghanistan.

Updated: April 30, 2019 09:19 PM

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