Danford stresses necessity for ISIS mercenaries to be returned home

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, General Joseph Danford, reiterated their continued support for SDF, saying that they have trained and are still training local forces to control the border, explaining that a unilateral Turkish move would be unhelpful.

Speaking at a seminar by the US Council on Foreign Relations, Joseph Danford said: "We are trying to train 50,000 to 60,000 local forces to control security in this area (northern Syria), and we may have trained half that number so far."

Danford stressed that Ankara's independent control of the so-called “buffer zone” in Syria would not serve the common interests of the United States and Turkey, nor would it be beneficial.

"Turkey has legitimate security concerns on the border with Syria, and we are in constant dialogue with them, and have worked a lot in recent weeks," Danford said.

 “An agreement was reached on establishing a joint operations center in Syria. We have the ability to address Turkey's concerns, "he said "There is a possibility that they themselves will go to Syria, but this will not be beneficial to our common interests."

Referring to SDF's continued support, Danford stressed the need to support SDF's fighters to eliminate the remnants of ISIS.

Danford pointed out that he believed that ISIS still had a significant presence in Iraq and Syria, and certainly not close to their strength in 2017 and 2018 so their strength had deteriorated significantly, but they still retained the ability to launch attacks and operations such as guerrilla.

"We have to solve the problem of these people, including the detainees, is a critical strategic issue," General Danford said of more than 2,000 foreign ISIS detainees being held by SDF. "Repatriating them took longer than someone like me wanted."



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