US moving terrorists from Syria’s Baghuz to ‘new Guantanamo’
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US moving terrorists from Syria’s Baghuz to ‘new Guantanamo’

Five years after Daesh swept across Syria and Iraq, all that remains of the “caliphate” that at its peak stretched across two countries and controlled 10 million people is a handful of streets in a bend of the Euphrates river running through the desert town of Baghuz. Trapped from the east and the west by advancing US-backed SDF militants and by the Syrian army and Russia, the self-proclaimed caliphate is a hellscape of smoke and fire. There is nowhere left for the fighters to go. Between 1,000 and 1,500 men are believed to be still inside the riverside pocket, along with an unknown number of women and children. Now, the US-led coalition is reportedly evacuating the enclave and moving the terrorists and their family members to camps in western Iraq. Iraqi security analyst Hazem al-Bawi says the US is seeking to create a new Guantanamo Bay camp, similar to the notorious one in Cuba. According to al-Bawi, the US is pressurizing the Iraqi government to create camps for accommodating thousands of Daesh family members in the desert areas of western Iraq, but there are concerns that the camps would turn into a new Guantanamo. “The government must prevent the US from finding a new pretext for prolonging its presence in Iraq through accommodation of terrorists in these new camps,” the analyst said. The Guantanamo detention camp is a United States military prison located on the coast of Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, where many terror suspects have been kept indefinitely without charge amid reports of torture. Despite earlier promises by US President Barack Obama and his successor Donald Trump to shut down the notorious prison, the latter said in January that he had signed a new executive order to keep it open. A Senate report in December 2014 revealed that the CIA had used a wide array of sexual abuse and other forms of torture as part of its interrogation methods against prisoners at Guantanamo.

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