The top U.S. general overseeing the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center says claims that the Pentagon has delayed the release of detainees are nonsense. But he acknowledged concerns that some detainees have returned to the battlefield.

Marine Gen. John Kelly, head of U.S. Southern Command, says there has been an increase in the number of officials from foreign countries visiting Guantanamo to finalize decisions to transfer a detainee to their nation.

The Defense Department has long been criticized over the slow pace of transfers.

He dismissed suggestions that the expected transfer of 17 detainees this month adds credence to the argument that approvals have previously been slow.