DoD Detains U.S. Citizen who Surrendered in Syria

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2017 — The Defense Department is legally detaining as a known enemy combatant an American citizen who turned himself over to the Syrian Democratic Forces this week, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Rob Manning said here today.

The SDF subsequently turned the U.S. citizen over to coalition forces, Manning said, “and he is being treated humanely in accordance with our regulations.”

Manning said more information will be provided as it becomes available.

Elsewhere in Syria, today is the 103rd day of operations to defeat ISIS in Raqqa, he added, and yesterday the SDF gained nine blocks or so in the city and nearly 4 square miles to the east and north of Raqqa.

Operational Update Syria

The SDF continued counter-ISIS clearance operations in the Khabur River Valley north of Dayr Az Zawr city in eastern Syria, Manning said, and the forces continued to make deliberate progress in the Khabur Valley along two axes, despite ISIS counterattacks with vehicle-borne bombs and small-arms fire.

“As SDF forces retake territory from ISIS,” Manning said, “we have seen cities, towns and communities form civil and military councils and establish that basic governance. These councils have been effective and beneficial for local governance and security to the people of Tabka, Raqqa and Manbij.”

In the tri-border region that includes Syria, Jordan and Iraq, he said that coalition forces continue to conduct patrols and prepare for counter-ISIS operations with the Maghawir al-Thawra, known as MAT or, in English, the Revolutionary Commando Army, near Tanf.

Manning said that in Syria coalition military forces conducted 16 strikes against ISIS targets on Sept. 14 near Dayr Az Zawr city and Raqqa.

Operational Update Iraq

In Iraq, Manning said, the handover to holding forces in Tal Afar in northern Nineveh governorate is ongoing and Iraqi forces continue counter-ISIS preparations for fighting in Hawija and Sharqat.

Coalition military forces, he said, conducted three strikes consisting of 13 engagements against ISIS targets on Sept. 14 in Huwayjah and Rawah.

(Follow Cheryl Pellerin on Twitter @PellerinDoDNews)

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