The PKK's Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG), the U.S.' partner in the region to clear the Daesh threat, once again betrayed regional security by releasing thousands of terrorists from prisons.
According to Yeni Şafak daily, more than 3,500 Daesh terrorists have been released by the YPG, a move seen as the complete opposite of what the U.S. said the YPG was meant to do, which was to defeat Daesh. The daily reported that the YPG received money from the tribes the released Daesh terrorists belonged to, meaning that there has been some sort of trade between the two terrorist groups.
The released Daesh terrorists have reportedly been moved to southeastern Syria and are considered a new threat in that region, they have already allegedly attacked the convoys of Iran-supported groups coming from Iraq to Damascus.
The YPG continues to have a mixed relationship with Daesh, with ties between the groups fluctuating from open hostility to cooperation. Reports stating that Daesh terrorists are being released from YPG prisons and camps have been circulating in the media for a while. The latest of these release reports came on Nov. 17 as the Turkish Defense Ministry claimed that the terrorist group had released over 800 Daesh prisoners in Tal Abyad in Syria.
Upon the releases and the attacks, the U.S. announced on Saturday that despite the decision to withdraw its troops from Syria, it will resume its operations against Daesh since there is "increased danger from Daesh attacks," the Military Times reported. The U.S.' announcement statement was in Kurdish for the first time and expressed that a wider scope and more intense operation is on the way against Daesh. It was reported by Yeni Şafak that the presence of American troops is already on the rise in the region.
In the statement, made by Air Force Maj. Gen. Eric Hill, commander of Special Operations Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, it was expressed that the U.S. "remains committed to our relentless pursuit of Daesh."
"As long as Daesh presents a threat, we must stay vigilant to prevent it, for the sake of the region and our homelands," the statement added.
Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), on the other hand, expressed on Saturday, as reported in New York Times, that there is no certain date to end operations as the fight will continue until Daesh is eliminated completely.
Many pundits claim that the course of the events suggest that the U.S. has been using the release of the Daesh terrorists as an excuse to keep its presence in the region, spreading the fear of Daesh to continue supporting YPG terrorists.
On Nov. 20, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the U.S. for its ongoing support for the YPG, pointing to the fact that the terrorist group had been releasing imprisoned Daesh terrorists it was meant to be fighting against.
"Significant intelligence was gathered from the close relatives of (Abu Bakr) al-Baghdadi who have been captured. The YPG has released thousands of Daesh members held in Syria's prisons as a means of blackmail," the president said.
Ankara has long objected to the U.S.' support for the YPG, a group that poses a threat to Turkey and terrorizes local people, destroying their homes and forcing them to flee. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which has killed 40,000 people, including women and children, in its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey. Under the pretext of fighting Daesh, the U.S. has supported the YPG terrorist group by providing military training and weapons and has recently reiterated its ongoing support. While underlining that one cannot support a terrorist group in the fight against another, Turkey has continued its own counterterrorism operation, over the course of which it has managed to remove a significant number of terrorists from the region.