October 9, 2019 / 11:40 PM / 6 days ago

U.S. military takes custody of two high-profile Islamic State militants

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military has taken custody of two high-profile Islamic State militants previously held in Syria by Kurdish-led fighters and moved them out of the country, as Turkey starts an offensive there, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the individuals were being held in a secure location but offered no further details.

Earlier on Wednesday, President Donald Trump said he had taken a “certain number” of Islamic State fighters out of Syria, as fears mount that Kurdish-led fighters may be unable to keep guarding Islamic State prisoners amid the Turkish operation.

Separately, a second U.S. official confirmed to Reuters the individuals belonged to a group of notorious British fighters nicknamed “The Beatles,” who have been tied to the murder of Western hostages. The Washington Post said on Wednesday the two men were being transferred into U.S. military custody.

Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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