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President Trump Claims The U.S. Military Is Taking Hostages

President Trump Claims The U.S. Military Is Taking Hostages

In a pair of tweets on Tuesday, President Donald Trump declared that the United States military had captured thousands of ISIS militants in Syria, following clashes with the organization and the supposed elimination of their political presence in the region.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trump said that decisions were being discussed on what to do next with the 1,800 “prisoners taken hostage in our final battles” with ISIS. He called on European countries to pick up the slack, writing that they were “not helping at all.”


Trump claimed in March that Syria was free from an ISIS presence, and announced his intention to draw down American troops in the region as a result.

Previous discussions have been held with Iraq about possibly relocating the thousands of ISIS fighters there, although that nation reportedly wants to charge the U.S. with high fees to do so, according to reporting from Politico.

Some were critical of Trump describing the ISIS fighters as hostages, especially since doing so is considered a war crime, users on social media were fast to point out.

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Others pointed out that, while he previously called himself a great “hostage negotiator” in the past, he can’t seem to negotiate a way to deal with the prisoners the U.S. military now has to handle.


Looking beyond those matters, Trump’s harsh words for Europe over ISIS are hardly new. In February, Trump made similar complaints about European nations not doing anything to “take back” militants from their own countries.

Trump directed his complaints toward France, Britain, and Germany at the time, threatening them with the possibility of simply releasing the prisoners if no agreement could be made.

“The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them. The US does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go,” Trump wrote at the time, per reporting from The Independent.

While the administration seems pleased to say ISIS is defeated in Syria, others aren’t so sure. Reporting from Foreign Policy magazine earlier this month suggested the organization is regrouping, for example.

Other concerns abound. A new video showing ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was believed to be dead, surfaced this week, the first time he’s been seen in around five years. ISIS also took credit for the Sri Lanka bombings that took place over Easter weekend this month.

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