By Rebecca Kheel - 01/02/16 04:27 PM EST
The first batch of Guantanamo Bay detainees recently cleared for release will be transferred abroad next week, CNN reported Saturday.
Last month, Defense Secretary Ash Carter notified Congress 17 detainees had been cleared for release.
The Associated Press previously reported the impending transfers as well.
The moves come as President Obama works in his final year in office to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise to close Guantanamo. He’s been repeatedly blocked by Congress, which again banned transferring detainees to the United States.
There are currently 107 detainees at Guantanamo. Of them, 59 are not deemed eligible to be transferred to another country and would need to be housed in the United States if Guantanamo was closed.
In his year-end press conference, Obama again promised to close the facility and hinted that he would be open to using executive action.
"We will wait until Congress has said definitively 'no' to a well-thought-out plan with numbers attached to it, before we say anything definitive about my executive authority here," he said.
"I'm not going to be forward-leaning on what I can do without Congress before I've tested what I can do with Congress."