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Congress expands Pentagon aid in Syria to cover Islamic State prisoners

The Senate’s new defense authorization bill gives the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces greater leeway to build prisons for Islamic State detainees.
A Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter stands near who he said were Islamic State fighters held prisoners, north of Raqqa city, Syria March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC15149E3320

Congress wants to give the Pentagon more freedom to help US-backed forces in Syria detain Islamic State fighters in the war-torn country.

The Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act released last week expands an authority the Pentagon can use to build small-scale temporary facilities such as ammunition and resupply points in Syria to also support the detention of Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS) fighters. The new bill calls for expanding previous assistance to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to also cover the “temporary detention and repatriation” of foreign fighters “in accordance with” international law.

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