Trump calls on other nations to take up fight against ISIS

Trump calls on other nations to take up fight against ISIS
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE called on other countries to take up the fight against ISIS on Wednesday, the day after his secretary of State acknowledged the terrorist group is regaining strength in certain areas.

Trump singled out Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey as countries that should do more to combat the Islamic State.

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“At a certain point, all of these other countries where ISIS is around — they’ve been decimated by the way, badly decimated — but all of these countries are going to have to fight them, because do we want to stay there for another 19 years? I don’t think so,” Trump told reporters outside the White House.

“The United States, we’re 7,000 miles away,” Trump added.

The president’s latest remarks come one day after Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo: Countries should reject China's demands to repatriate Uighurs Trump says he will consider releasing transcript of Ukraine call White House officials, Giuliani come to Trump's defense on Ukraine allegations MORE said there are places where ISIS is becoming powerful, despite Trump having repeatedly referred to the terrorist organization as “defeated.”

“It’s complicated,” Pompeo said in an interview on “CBS This Morning.” “There’s certainly places where ISIS is more powerful today than they were three or four years ago."

“But the caliphate is gone, and their capacity to conduct external attacks has been made much more difficult. We’ve taken down a significant risk,” he continued. “Not all of it, but a significant amount. And we’re very pleased with the work we have done.”

Pompeo had been asked about a New York Times report that said ISIS is regaining strength in Iraq and Syria.

Trump has long expressed discomfort with the idea of the U.S. serving as the world’s police force.

In December, he announced he would withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria.

He was later convinced to back off a full withdrawal amid fierce bipartisan backlash and warnings that it would leave a vacuum in which ISIS could regroup, as well as leave U.S. partner Kurdish fighters vulnerable to Turkish attacks.

But the administration is still in the process of a considerable drawdown in Syria.

Trump is also hoping to withdraw from Afghanistan. His administration has been negotiating with the Taliban to that end.

Questions have risen in recent days, however, about whether negotiations with the Taliban would end the Afghan violence after ISIS’s Afghanistan branch claimed responsibility for a Saturday attack on a wedding in Kabul that killed 80 people.

In Syria, a recent inspector general report from the Pentagon, State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development found the drawdown means the United States does not have the resources to monitor a refugee camp where “ISIS is likely exploiting the lack of security to enlist new members and re-engage members who have left the battlefield.”

The Trump administration has also been trying to convince countries, with little success, to repatriate citizens who joined ISIS for prosecution in their home countries. U.S.-backed forces in Syria are detaining an estimated 2,000 foreign fighters.

On Wednesday, Trump said if other countries do not take back their citizens, he will have no choice but to release them into those countries.

“If Europe doesn’t them take, I’ll have no choice but to release them into the countries from which they came, which is Germany and France and other places,” he said. “We beat them. You captured them. We’ve got thousands of them, and now, as usual, our allies say, ‘Oh, no, we don’t want them,’ even though they came from France and Germany and other places.”

Trump also appeared to rule out detaining the foreign fighters at Guantánamo Bay, alluding to cost concerns.

“So we’re going to tell them, and we’ve already told them, take these prisoners that we’ve captured because the United States is not going to put them in Guantánamo for the next 50 years and pay for it,” he said.