U.S. Renews Pressure on Europe Over ISIS Fighters Held in Syria

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. will keep pressing its European allies to take back citizens caught fighting for Islamic State in Syria if they’re released, National Security Adviser John Bolton said.

The fate of the estimated 800 to 1,000 captives taken by Kurdish militias in northeastern Syria has been a sore point since President Donald Trump tweeted in February that the U.K., France, Germany and other European countries should “take back over 800 ISIS fighters” or “we will be forced to release them.”

Asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” whether the U.S. would put captured fighters on trial, Bolton said, “It’s a possibility, but we’re not eager to simply pick up that responsibility. We think that others have the responsibility, too, and that’s the approach we’re taking.”

The U.S. is seeking to conclude a deal on the region’s status partly so the captives could remain imprisoned in northeastern Syria “for the foreseeable future,” Bolton said in the first of three scheduled television interviews on Sunday.

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