WASHINGTON – The top U.S. commander in the Middle East says there are ongoing U.S. efforts to improve Syrian rebels’ ability to detain what has become a steadily growing number of foreign fighters in Syria.
Army Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command, tells the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Syrian Democratic Forces currently hold more than 400 detainees.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has been urging reluctant allies to address the escalating crisis by taking responsibility for their citizens that have been captured. So far those entreaties have been largely unsuccessful.
The U.S. is mainly advising and working with the SDF to ensure detainees get appropriate standards of care. But the U.S. military in Syria doesn’t have the funding or ability to actually solve detention facility shortages.