US-backed YPG makes deal, exchanges money with Daesh

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 06.04.2019 00:19

The PKK's Syrian affiliate, the U.S.-backed People's Protection Units (YPG), releases Daesh terrorists in exchange for money, media reports revealed on Thursday, showing that the two terrorist organizations are in a sham fight in Syria. According to an article by Le Figaro, the way that the terrorist organizations' deal works is that Daesh gives a list of names to the YPG in exchange for money. Although the article appeared on Thursday, it is actually a continuation of a series of media reports regarding agreements between Daesh and the YPG. Earlier this month, the YPG announced that they released 283 Daesh members, defining the action as "a gesture for cooperation, brotherhood and compassion."

However, the latest reports reveal that the release of Daesh members is a part of secret negotiations between the two terrorist organizations.

Disgruntled with President Donald Trump's decision to pull U.S. soldiers from Syria, the YPG had planned to release over 3,000 Daesh prisoners, The New York Times reported in December, citing an official from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

According to Observatory head Rami Abdul Rahman, top leaders of the militant groups 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, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by the YPG, denied the allegation, Yhe 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."

U.S. President Donald Trump had released a statement in February on Twitter and said: "The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them."

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

Since the withdrawal of U.S. troops, many of whom are working in close cooperation with the SDF, an unstable process has followed.

Almost all the territory in east of the Euphrates River, 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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