The PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) and the United States have reportedly exerted efforts for Daesh terrorists trapped in Deir ez-Zor to flee as they recently did in Raqqa.
According to reports in Turkish media yesterday, the YPG and the United States held meetings over the weekend to find a solution to the remaining 1,300 or so Daesh terrorists in Deir ez-Zor. The leaders of several tribes in Syria and Iraq and contact with Daesh also reportedly attended the meeting.
Polat Can, one of the commanders of the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), was also present at the meeting. Speaking to the Türkiye daily regarding the meeting between the tribes, the YPG and U.S., Hissam al-Bakkari of the al-Bakkari tribe said leading tribes in the region were urged to help in the evacuation process of some 1,300 Daesh terrorists.
A BBC report released in mid-November revealed a secret deal between the SDF and Daesh to help thousands of Syrian and foreign fighters and their families escape from Raqqa along with their weapons and ammunition.
According to the report, the evacuation convoy consisted of nearly 50 trucks and 13 buses, along with more than 100 vehicles belonging to Daesh terrorists. Ten trucks were loaded with weapons and ammunition.
One of the truck drivers told the BBC that the SDF asked him to manage a convoy to carry hundreds of families displaced by fighting from the town of Tabqa to a camp further north, which would take approximately six hours. The driver, Abu Fawzi, told the BBC that the SDF promised the drivers thousands of dollars and said the operation had to be kept secret.The U.S.-led coalition and local officials had previously confirmed a deal was reached with Daesh to allow Syrian militants to evacuate from Raqqa. However, foreign fighters were strictly excluded from the evacuation deal, as well as the weaponry.
Cooperation between the YPG and Daesh has already been in the news. A former spokesman of the U.S.-backed SDF, Talal Silo, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the SDF and U.S. allowed Daesh terrorists to escape on three separate occasions.
"Raqqa was not the first place where they evacuated Daesh by agreement. It was the third. The U.S. and [SDF commander Şahin] Cilo did it by common consent. The Manbij Military Council issued a statement just before Manbij was declared clear. It announced that 2,000 Daesh members were allowed to leave the city with human shields. The SDF, the U.S. and Manbij Military Council provided security for Daesh members and allowed them to go toward Jarablus. This was the first agreement." Meanwhile, Silo told U.K-based The Times that every Daesh terrorist who paid $200 was allowed to leave Manbij.
Silo also said the second agreement was in al-Tabqah. "Operations were launched so many times but they failed. Daesh resisted strongly. They were obliged to negotiate. Abu Muhammad stepped in. His sister's husband was a Daesh commander in Tabqah. He was asked to meet Daesh for the safe exit of 500 terrorists by Cilo and the Americans. Daesh's demand was to go to Tabqah from Raqqa with their weapons and ammunition. After Cilo met the Americans on our behalf, Daesh's safe exit was allowed."