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YPG and SDF capture 13 ISIS foreign fighters in one week

The People’s Protection Units (YPG) said on Wednesday, January 9 that it captured eight foreign Islamic State fighters during the battle to recapture the Syrian town of Hajin from the group, following the announcement of five fighters captured over the weekend.

The eight fighters announced Wednesday were identified as 58-year-old Adil Rahimov (Abu Amina Uzbeki) and Farhad Qaderov (Abu Bilal Uzbeki), 28, both from Uzbekistan; 22-year-old Tajik national Mohammad Dawlat (Abu Moshab Tajiki); Askar Zarmanbetov (Abu Dawoud Nougha), 27, of Ukraine; Kazakh national Sattibek Oshibaev (Abu Rouqaya), 30; Bimuraev Begjan (Abu Sara) from Russia, also 30; 31-year-old Lucas Glass (Abu Ibrahim al-Almani) from Germany; and 16-year-old Soulay Noah Su (Abu Souleiman al-Amriki) from the United States.

The eight were captured by the YPG’s special operations team in and around Hajin on January 6 and 7, the force said.

The SDF launched the offensive to take Hajin in the eastern Deir Ezzor province from ISIS on September 10.

The U.S. Department of State did not immediately reply to a request for comment on al-Amriki’s citizenship, and an auto-reply from a Department spokesperson said he was out of the office because of the furlough resulting from the lapse in U.S. government appropriations.

SDF captures five ISIS fighters

On Monday, the Syrian Democratic Forces, of which the YPG is a core component, announced the capture of five ISIS fighters from Ireland, Pakistan and the U.S.

They were identified as U.S. citizens Warren Christopher Clark (Abu Mohammad al-Ameriki) and Zaid Abed al-Hamid (Abu Zaid al-Ameriki); Alexandr Ruzmatovich Bekmirzaev of Ireland; and Fadel al-Rahman Cad (Abu Enam al-Muhajir) and Abed al-Azem Rajhoud (Abu Omea al-Pakistani), both originally from Pakistan.

Ireland’s justice ministry told The Defense Post it would not comment on security matters or individual cases, citing departmental policy, but that officials were liaising with the national police force and Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan was “monitoring the situation.” An Garda Síochána, the Irish police service, declined to comment “on named individuals.”

Earlier Wednesday, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev said 47 Kazakh citizens, including 30 children, had been repatriated from Syria. The SDF said earlier this week that it handed over the children, along with 11 women and five ISIS fighters to the Kazakh government, after U.S. mediation.

The SDF is holding nearly 900 ISIS foreign fighters from 44 countries, 400-500 of their wives and more than 1,000 children, according to Abdulkarim Omar, co-chair of foreign affairs in northern Syria.

Authorities have asked governments to repatriate their nationals, but with a few exceptions such as Russia, Indonesia and Sudan, most have proved highly reluctant.

Andrew Kennedy contributed reporting.

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