American teen accused of fighting for Islamic State
An American teen was among eight Islamic State militants captured in Syria by U.S.-backed Kurds during a military operation this week, the Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG) said.
Soulay Noah Su, also known as Abu Souleiman al-Amriki, was nabbed by a special operations team near Hajin, Syria, a city of about 40,000 where the militia has been driving out cells of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. The U.S. State Department said it was aware of the reports but had no comment.
“We know that the terrorists are planning attacks to slow down the progress of our forces by attacking civilians as a last resort,” the YPG said in a statement. The other seven people captured were from Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and two from Uzbekistan.
YPG forces are holding three Americans among hundreds of Islamic State fighters the militia captured in sweeps through eastern Syria.
President Donald Trump stirred controversy when he announced the United States would pull out of the region. The timeline for withdrawal has grown murky as GOP congressional leaders and national security officials urge a longer-term commitment to Kurdish fighters in the area. Turkey pledged to press military operations against the Kurds, whom the Turks view as terrorists. The Kurds have been solid U.S. partners in the fight against the Islamic State.
“We will be leaving at a proper pace while at the same time continuing to fight ISIS and doing all else that is prudent and necessary,” Trump tweeted Monday.
Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed that Turkey’s “anti-terror commitment” is not dependent on U.S. decisions.