According to the New York Times, the US is spending over one million dollars on building detention facilities in Syria.
These facilities are guarded by the PKK’s Syrian offshoot, the YPG, and are holding thousands accused of belonging to Da’esh, including 400 people from more than three dozen countries (and their family members).
The suspects are held in isolation from the rest of the world. Although the camps reportedly contain fighters who surrendered or were captured, many are merely suspected of belonging to Da’esh and have not been charged with a crime. Kino Gabriel, a a spokesman for the YPG’s SDF front, claims these people, including their wives and children (who have obviously never picked up a gun) are being “interrogated” in a manner that is “taking time”. In several camps, US forces are running the interrogations.
From what we know happened in Guantanamo, Muslim prisoners being held incommunicado under “interrogation” by Americans is not a good sign. The majority have been refused repatriation to their home countries – and the YPG is in no rush to put them on trial. Many are being held indefinitely in cramped, unhygienic rooms (some containing 60 people each) without prospect of anything resembling a fair trial, or any hope of release.
In a hearing last month, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham asked General Joseph Votel (Central Command head) about the growing number of real or suspected Da’esh prisoners and their families being held by the YPG in Syria.
“Do you think we have a credible plan to detain these people?” Mr. Graham asked.
“We actually do have a plan to detain them on the ground,” General Votel said.
“If they don’t go back to their countries, do you think we have a plan — credible plan — to detain them inside of Syria long term?” Mr. Graham followed-up.
General Votel’s response was swift: “We are working on improving the capacity of the Syrian Democratic Forces to do that right now.”
In other words: “If we can’t forcibly send you home to be killed or tortured by totalitarian regimes on the basis of suspected guilt, we’re going to indefinitely detain you in unhygienic conditions without the possibility of freedom.”
Many of these prisoners will inevitably be people forcibly conscripted by Da’esh – only to be captured by the YPG. The YPG has a long history of arresting, torturing and executing anyone merely suspected of belonging to Da’esh, often purely by virtue of being Arab or Muslim. How many of these people are now being roughly interrogated? As the NYT admits, a good number are not only from that category, but “local civilians who were pressed” into “administrative or medical jobs”. How many of them, foreigners included, will be aid workers or volunteers who wanted to assist in a non-military capacity?
The US always claimed it was a “friend of Syria”. US “friendship” involves refusing to get rid of Assad (and taking his side), openly making deals with the regime and its allies, airstrikes and napalm on civilians and invading Syria by establishing illegal military bases and backing a Marxist terror group. Now it’s also using Syrian soil as a second Guantanamo.