SDF To Study Any Request To Hand Over British IS Militants Captured In Syria | 2/9/2018 | Staff
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AMUDA, Syria/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has not received a request from any foreign government to hand over two British Islamic State militants in its custody but will study any such request if made, a senior SDF official told Reuters on Friday.

“We have not received any official request from any international party to hand over the two prisoners,” Redur Xelil, the SDF official, said. Any such request would be studied, he added.

US - Officials - Thursday - SDF - Militia

U.S. officials said on Thursday that the SDF, a militia force, had last month captured Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee ElSheikh, two of four militants known as the “Beatles” for their English accents. They were notorious for their role in the kidnap, torture and killing of Western hostages in Syria.

The SDF released pictures of the two men on Friday.

US - Officials - Friday - Britain - United

Earlier U.S. and European officials said on Friday that Britain, the United States and officials in the region are discussing what should happen with the two militants.

“Together with our coalition partners, we are still considering options regarding ElSheikh and Kotey, but rest assured there is a common intention to hold anyone accountable who commits acts like those they are alleged to have committed,” said a spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council.

Government - Officials

British government officials declined to comment.

Xelil also confirmed that officials from the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State had taken part in the questioning of the two Britons.

Xelil - Reuters - Kotey - Area - Raqqa

Earlier Xelil told Reuters Kotey was captured in a rural area of Raqqa province on Jan. 24 and was aiming to reach Turkey when he was captured by the Kurdish-led forces.

“He was intending to escape toward Turkey with cooperation and coordination with friends of his on the Turkish side,” Xelil said. “He is now under investigation with us,” he said. Xelil gave no information about the second militant, ElSheikh.

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