YPG mulls releasing thousands of Daesh prisoners in response to US withdrawal from Syria

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 20.12.2018 21:16
Updated 20.12.2018 21:20
YPG terrorists (AFP Photo)
YPG terrorists (AFP Photo)

Disgruntled with President Donald Trump's decision to pull U.S. soldiers from Syria, the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are planning to release over 3,000 Daesh prisoners, the New York Times reported Thursday, citing an official from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

According to Observatory head Rami Abdul Rahman, top leaders of the militants group met on Wednesday to discuss the option of releasing about 1,100 Daesh terrorists and 2,080 of their relatives.

Even though a so-called spokesman for the umbrella organization SDF denied the allegation, The New York Times cited a "Western official from the U.S.-led coalition fighting in Syria" saying that the planning indeed took place.

"The best result of terrible options is probably for the Syrian regime to take custody of these people," the official was quoted as saying by the paper.

"If they are released, it's a real disaster and major threat to Europe."

On Wednesday, Washington announced it will be withdrawing all of its troops from Syria, following a conversation between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. counterpart Trump over an imminent Turkish cross-border operation to eliminate YPG from northern Syria.

It has been reported that the U.S. still has about 2,000 troops in Syria, many of whom are working in close cooperation with SDF.

The time frame for U.S troop pullout from the country is expected to be between 60 to 100 days, according to a U.S. official.

Almost all the territory in the east of the Euphrates River comprising some one-third of the territory of Syria, except for the Assad regime-controlled area near Deir el-Zour and the Daesh-held area near the Iraqi border, is controlled by the SDF. The SDF also controls the districts of Manbij and Tabqah on the right bank of the river.

Due to the group's links with the PKK, Ankara has called the YPG-held areas a "terror corridor" and said repeatedly it will not allow the region to turn into an autonomous region administered by the terrorist group.

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