Washington – The U.S. military will transfer four more detainees out of Guantanamo Bay this week ahead of President Obama’s final day in office, two U.S. officials with knowledge of the transfers tolld Fox News.
Three detainees will arrive to the United Arab Emirates, and one will be sent to Saudi Arabia, on two separate military flights, the officials said.
The Pentagon does not typically acknowledge detainee transfers until at least 24 hours after they arrive in third-party nations.
Earlier this week, 10 detainees were transferred to Oman.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Defense announced the names of these 10 detainees as eight of them are Yemenis and two are Afghanis.
The Pentagon expressed gratitude to the Omani government for their humanitarian gesture and sent an official statement to the government.
“The United States is grateful to the government of Oman for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” the Pentagon said in the statement Tuesday.
“The United States coordinated with the government of Oman to ensure these transfers took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.”
The individuals eligible for transfer included Ghaleb Nassar al-Bihani, Mustafa Abd al-Qawi Abd al-Aziz al-Shamiri, Karim Bostam, Abdul Sahir and Musab Omar Ali al-Mudwani.
The Periodic Review Boards has approved the transfer of Hail Aziz Ahmed al-Maythali, Salman Yahya Hassan Mohammad Rabei’i, Mohammed al-Ansi, Muhammad Ahmad Said Haider and Walid Said bin Said Zaid, according to the release.
At its peak, Guantanamo had close to 700 prisoners. When President Obama entered office in January 2009, he immediately pledged to close the prison in Cuba, which was down to 242 detainees at the time.
Obama pledged to close what became a source of international criticism over the mistreatment of detainees and the notion of holding people indefinitely, most without charge. However he has been unable to fulfill promises to close the facility in part because of congressional opposition to transferring any of the detainees to U.S. prisons. Congress ultimately banned the transfer of prisoners to U.S. soil for any reason.
An estimated 40 inmates will remain in the facility, which President-elect Donald Trump has pledged he would keep open and “load it up with some bad dudes.”