Following reports that several high-value ISIS prisoners and their families had escaped Kurdish detention facilities during the chaos that has dominated northeastern Syria over the past week, President Trump tweeted Friday afternoon that he had convinced several of his European partners to accept responsibility for ISIS members in the custody of Syria's Kurds.
In a string of tweets sent Friday afternoon, President Trump shared more details from a Friday conversation with Turkish President Erdogan. Setting aside the issue of whether or not it actually happened for now, Trump insisted that there is "good will on both sides" and that "the ISIS Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey."
Just spoke to President @RTErdogan of Turkey. He told me there was minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated. He very much wants the ceasefire, or pause, to work. Likewise, the Kurds want it, and the ultimate solution, to happen. Too bad there wasn’t.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2019
.....this thinking years ago. Instead, it was always held together with very weak bandaids, & in an artificial manner. There is good will on both sides & a really good chance for success. The U.S. has secured the Oil, & the ISIS Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2019
A few minutes later, Trump tweeted with some more news about the prisoners, claiming that he had just been notified that several European countries had finally agreed to take any of their citizens, born or naturalized, found among the captured ISIS fighters.
Trump then emphasized how "important" this work is, since meeting so much resistance was "not intended to be this way for a President."
....I have just been notified that some European Nations are now willing, for the first time, to take the ISIS Fighters that came from their nations. This is good news, but should have been done after WE captured them. Anyway, big progress being made!!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2019
DEFEAT TERRORISM! https://t.co/8WbnLPgWIK— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2019
Can you believe I am doing this important work for our Country, and have to deal with Corrupt Adam Schiff and the Do Nothing Democrats at the same time? It was not intended to be this way for a President!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2019
During the twitter rant that followed President Trump's revelation that he would pull American troops from northeastern Syria and allow Turkish troops to begin a long-awaited anti-terror operation (Which has been revealed to be an excuse to crack down on their enemies, the Kurds), one of the reasons Trump cited for pulling back in the region is the other partners' reluctance to take responsibility for the soldiers from their countries captured among the ISIS recruits. As Statista shows, many European countries sent hundreds, if not dozens, of soldiers to fight in ISIS's holy war.
During the early days of ISIS, Ankara was accused of turning a blind eye to the group's growth by allowing foreign fighters to sneak across its porous border. Now, Turkish soldiers in Syria are reportedly focusing more on killing and brutalizing Kurdish civilians than apprehending fleeing members of ISIS.
Of course, we still need to hear confirmation from Europe about whether what Trump is saying is true.