US moves British ISIS suspects from Syria amid Turkish invasion

US moves British ISIS suspects from Syria amid Turkish invasion
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The U.S. has moved two British militants thought to be ISIS members from Syria amid the Turkish invasion.

The militants, a part of a group called "The Beatles," are now in American custody because of concerns that they'd escape while Turkey is entering Syria, The Associated Press reported.


As Turkey attacks the Kurdish force that previously helped the U.S. fight ISIS, the Kurds may no longer prioritize guarding detained members, the AP reported.

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances Race debate grips Congress US reentry to Paris agreement adds momentum to cities' sustainability efforts MORE told reporters that the "most dangerous" detainees had been relocated without mentioning how many or where. 

“We’re putting them in different locations where it’s secure,” Trump said, according to the AP.

The president early Thursday morning confirmed that the U.S. took custody of the militants, who are now being held in a "secure location."

"In case the Kurds or Turkey lose control, the United States has already taken the 2 ISIS militants tied to beheadings in Syria, known as the Beetles, out of that country and into a secure location controlled by the U.S. They are the worst of the worst!" he tweeted.

The two militants reportedly belonged to an ISIS execution cell accused of being responsible for beheading several hostages, including American journalists James Foley and Steve Sotloff and American aid worker Peter Kassig.

Officials said a few high-profile prisoners were being moved, but thousands of others remain under Kurdish watch. They said they are not concerned the Kurds will leave the detained prisoners as of now, according to the AP.

About 2,500 ISIS foreign fighters are being held in Syria, with an additional 10,000 from Syria and Iraq, the news service noted.

The president is encouraging leaders to collect detainees from their countries. 

“They should go back, by the way, they should go back to Europe. Many of them came from Europe. And they should go back to Germany and France,” Trump said Wednesday. 

Trump removed 30 to 50 U.S. troops left in Syria as the Turkey attack was impending, after the Kurdish and U.S. forces removed the last ISIS members from their caliphate in March.

Republican lawmakers have criticized the president for deciding to remove the troops from Syria, fearing the Kurdish allies would see the action as a betrayal.

--Tal Axelrod contributed to this report, which was updated on Oct. 10 at 7:10 a.m.