Turkey says it captured 'important' IS figure in Syria

Cheryl Sanders
November 13, 2019

Demirdas opined that Trump is likely to silently approve of the Turkish operation in Syria against the Kurdish YPG, which, as Ankara believes, is a branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, deemed a terrorist organisation in Turkey.

Washington says that almost all the 10,000 Islamic State suspects held by the SDF in Syria remain in captivity, but a senior U.S. State Department official described them on Tuesday as a "ticking time-bomb" and urged states to take back their citizens.

Erdogan and Trump have a hard agenda Wednesday that includes Turkey's decision to buy a Russian air defense system and its attack on US-allied Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

He said that Istanbul will use foreign fighters as "bargaining chips" with Europe and that Istanbul is actively helping ISIS to resurrect after its recent defeats. But, according to Demirdas, POTUS might offer Turkey a way back into the F-35 programme without ditching the S-400s, believing that it would be better for the United States to actually sell the fighter jets worth over 100 million dollars each, rather than denying Ankara the opportunity to buy them. "Let someone else fight over this long-bloodstained sand (Syria)", he said at a White House news briefing.

With a worsening record on human rights in the aftermath of a failed coup in 2016, many European Union states say Turkey does not meet democratic criteria to join the bloc.

Turkey launched its offensive into northeastern Syria against the Kurdish YPG militia last month, following President Donald Trump's decision to move USA troops out of the way.

Turkey has also been accused of harboring ISIS fighters, allowing them to be treated in Turkish hospitals and facilitating their movements into Syria.

Speaking in Ankara ahead of a visit to Washington, Erdogan slammed the EU's decision and said Turkey was acting in line with its rights based on global law. "Hey EU, know this: Turkey is not one of those countries you have come to know until now". The UN cited video footage showing fighters with the Ahrar al-Sharqiya armed group filming themselves capturing and executing three Kurdish captives on a highway in northern Syria.

Footage captured by USA surveillance aircraft over northern Syria has documented several incidents that military officials say may constitute war crimes on the part of Turkish-backed forces there, a US official said. "Turkey is not a hotel for Daesh members", Soylu said last week.

The Turkish offensive, officially named "Operation Peace Spring", has further disrupted USA relations with Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, at a time when Ankara's decision to acquire air defense systems from Russian Federation already had created significant strain.

Notably, The Washington Post reported recently, citing unnamed sources, that during the 13 November talks, Trump will offer Ankara a "workaround" to avoid the sanctions that Washington promised to impose on Ankara for its purchase of Russian S-400 air defence systems.

The US and fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations say the S-400 would aid Russian intelligence and compromise a US-led fighter jet program.

The US has since kicked Erdogan out of a multinational program producing components of America's high-tech F-35 fighter jet. "There's no place in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for the S-400".

"Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years", the White House said. "The problem is, the USA seems not to be interested in doing that", Baskan said.

Other reports by iNewsToday