US military figure urges UK to take back IS 'foreign fighters'

Major General Patrick Roberson has called on the UK to take back Islamic State fighters who have been ‘caught on the battlefield’ in Syria.

The senior commander of US special ops discussed the case of El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey, two Londoners known as the IS Beatles, and said that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US were ‘working very hard to make sure that the countries of origin get these foreign terrorist fighters back into their custody’.

Elsheikh and Kotey, who were captured in January, have reportedly been stripped off their British citizenship with the government negotiating for them to face trial in the US. The two men have since disputed the citizenship claim.

Roberson is the first senior US military officer to publicly call on the UK to take back its nationals and former nationals. At present, the men could face the death penalty if found guilty of alleged involvement in the killing of a number of hostages. However, the comments of General Roberson suggest the US would prefer them to stand trial in the UK.

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