It’s sorta weird, but collaborating with ISIS is still technically illegal even with Turkey so clearly supporting militia that have been thoroughly infiltrated by jihadis, as they’ve been helpful enough to document for us.
But yeah—there’s still somehow anti ISIS law enforcement.
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A local counter-terrorism unit in the northern Syrian city of Manbij on Saturday arrested members of an Islamic State cell allegedly involved in smuggling at least six women connected to the extremist group from a camp under the control of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to Turkish-held areas along the country’s northern border.
The SDF-affiliated Manbij Military Council’s media office claimed in a statement that a man named Abu Naji, a leader of the Turkish-backed Ahrar Al-Sham paramilitary group, was responsible for smuggling “ISIS elements and their families to areas controlled by the Turkish occupation.”
It continued, “After investigating this cell, it was found that ISIS members who are currently fighting in the ranks of the Turkish occupation mercenaries are trying to smuggle their families out of the Al-Hol camp.”
The sprawling facility was built to house 40,000 individuals but currently houses some 68,000 women and children from multiple nations, many of whom are related to Islamic State fighters.
“The Turkish intelligence commissioned ‘Abu Naji’ to carry out this task, the person is known to have carried out several bombings in the city of Manbij and Hasakah, and caused the death of dozens of civilians,” the statement claimed.
I guess it makes sense, but you have to keep remembering the difference between the presentation to the world and the reality. If Turkey wants to prevent its operation in northern Syria as legal and justified, then it has to let ISIS—well recognized terrorists by this point—be captured and prosecuted.
So Turkey has to be all about the public face of their operation. (Well, their intended public face. But you can basically watch the war on the Twitters.)
Anyway, here is an independent news organization in Turkey reporting on the Ayn Issa fighting as though it were aberrational.
Turkey and allied Syrian rebels have violated a Russia-brokered ceasefire in northern Syria by attacking northeast of the town of Ain Issa that lies outside of a safe zone along the Turkish-Syrian border, Iraqi Kurdish news network Rudaw reported.
The attack in Ain Issa, which is some 10 kilometres outside of the safe zone, reportedly killed four people and wounded 22, Rudaw said, citing the international aid organisation Free Burma Rangers.
“These events raise doubts about the capability of Russia to enforce the cease-fire deal brokered by themselves and furthermore raises questions regarding their role as a guarantor for the possibility of reaching a political solution for Syria,” the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Sunday, according to Rudaw.
It’s not that any of that isn’t true. It’s just that, like, that’s your basic Wednesday in Rojava.
And then again…
Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria has foiled the Pentagon’s plans to expand cooperation with Kurdish fighters to build a terror corridor in the region, Burhanettin Duran, the head of a Turkish pro-government think tank, told the state-run Anadolu Agency on Sunday.
A Pentagon report published last week, which criticises U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out American troops in northern Syria for allowing the Islamic State (ISIS) to rebuild itself, has expressed U.S. defence officials disdain at Turkey for foiling such plots, said Duran, director of the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA).
Trump’s decision paved the way for Turkey’s military offensive last month against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey says is an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an armed group recognised as a terrorist organisation by the United States. The YPG has formed the bulk of the U.S.-led coalition forces fighting against ISIS in Syria.
The Pentagon was considering elevating its tactical partnership with the YPG to a strategic partnership, seeking to use the Kurdish fighters against Iran or to turn it into a state-like structure that would protect U.S. interests in the region, according to Duran.
“We at the same time saw that plans cooked in the Pentagon collapsed,” Duran said referring to the Turkish offensive. “Now the Pentagon shows its reaction with that report.”
A terror corridor, huh?
I wonder how the Green Berets feel about that?
I guess they’ll have to agree to disagree.