Syria's US-backed Kurdish militias are warning that over 10,000 jihadists, among these thousands of ISIS terrorists, could go free as a result Turkey's 'imminent' invasion of northeast Syria. The numbers of ISIS terrorists unleashed in the wake of the Turkish military incursion could be the biggest since the height of the Islamic State caliphate's existence, per Syrian Kurdish official statements reported by Fox News:
Aside from the existential threat to the Kurdish fighters posed by Turkey, Syrian Kurdish forces are also warning that ISIS sleeper cells are actively plotting to free about 12,000 militants currently detained by the Kurds and may take advantage of the Turkey-triggered turmoil to aid their plans.
Those in custody include about 2,500 foreign fighters from Europe and elsewhere whose native countries have been reluctant to take them back — and about 10,000 other captured fighters from Syria and Iraq.
One major but relatively underreported fact is that over at least the past two years makeshift Kurdish/SDF prisons have held many of the region's most dangerous terrorists with the Pentagon's help. Kurdish forces have blamed Turkey for unleashing ISIS jihadists on northern Syria in the first place.
Despite a US statement late Sunday saying that Turkey will now take custody of the thousands of militants after Washington announced it "will not support or be involved in the [Turkish] operation" and "will no longer be in the immediate area," a rapid US withdrawal from border bases such as at Tel Abyad and Ras al Ain in northeast Syria (which has already happened at both locations), leaves the fate of ISIS prisoners in the area in question.
"Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out," Trump tweeted Monday morning in a series of statements defending his decision to move out of Turkey's way.
It was clear that the ISIS prisoner question is on the president's mind, however, given the following statement as part of the series of tweets:
They [Turkey] must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families. The U.S. has done far more than anyone could have ever expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory.
But the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces shot back in a Monday statement: “The American forces did not abide by their commitments and withdrew their forces along the border with Turkey.”
Mustafa Bali, the SDF spokesman, highlighted the potential for mass ISIS jail breaks in the wake of the US withdrawal: "People here are owed an explanation regarding the security mechanism deal and destruction of fortifications," he said.
There's also the question of al-Hol refugee camp in northeast Syria, which media reports throughout the summer described as a festering hotbed out of which a renewed ISIS underground insurgency is ready to explode, given it is home to over 70,000 people, mostly families of known ISIS fighters.
Al Hol camp via BBC: "Al-Hol is a nightmare, a camp that has grown from 11,000 people, to more than 70,000. It is swollen with the dark aftermath of the collapsed pseudo-caliphate. It is ready to burst."
As The Independent reported last week, the timing of this week's chaotic developments couldn't be worse:
Camp authorities have warned that they may not be able to control the roughly 70,000 inhabitants, most of whom were detained as they fled the last remnants of the Isis caliphate earlier this year.
Previously US special forces assisted local SDF fighters in administering prison camps, but amid inevitable Turkish-SDF clashes to come, those camps will likely bust wide open.
“This is an Isis city – 70,000 people cannot be controlled. We have only enough guards to protect from outside attack,” the SDF's Mustafa Bali said, noting that his group's administration of the prison camp won't last long if Turkey invades.
Turkey has BEGUN attacking targets inside Syria, to soften-up areas for invasion by Turkish Army forces. Turkish Air strikes have hit the Syria-Iraq border crossing at Semalka run by Kurds, and there is heavy Turk air activity over Derik, Turkey, heading toward Syria. Turkish artillery is targeting several PKK positions in the countryside of Malikiyah and are attacking Tal Abyad with artillery fire as well.
Turkish artillery at Syria Border:
There is real trouble taking place by-the-minute Monday, in Syria, In Washington, DC and in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. As of 5:45 PM eastern US time, the United States has EXPELLED Turkey from a Joint Air Operations Center in Syria and has also cut-off all Intelligence sharing and Recon info sharing with Turkey.
Turkish Tanks being unloaded at Syria Border:
Turkish Troops being moved toward Syria Border:
Turkish President Erdogan wants to take a 30 kilometer deep strip including the M4 highway which runs west to east in that area.
But the border area Erdogan marked is quite populated with some 850,000 people living there. Most of them are Kurds.
Turkey wants to replace those Kurds with the Syrian mob that it armed and supported against the Syrian government troops. These people and their families currently live in Turkey.
To move them into north Syria would be one of the largest ethnic cleansing operations the world has seen in recent times.
A saying goes "The Kurds have no friends but the mountains." But there are no mountains in Syria's north east.
While the YPG (Kurdish military) might want to fight off a Turkish invasion they have little chance to succeed. The land is flat and the YPG forces only have light arms.
There is only 1 solution for them. They will have to call up the Syrian government and ask it to come back into the north east.
That would remove the Turkish concerns and would likely prevent further Turkish moves.
In short though its a very bad situation. Turkey is a NATO ally. Our military support was aiding the Kurds. The current Turkish regime hates the Kurds and has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
If we were to intervene with the Turks, we would be killing people who were our allies. If we were to support the Kurds, we would be fighting a NATO ally.
This could lead to Turkeys expulsion from NATO. Or... Would put Turkey face to face with Assads forces in the south. Which could drag NATO into a direct conflict with Iran/Russia/China.
President Trump has warned the Turks against their planned invasion into Syria, but at the same time, notified all parties he is withdrawing US troops from the area. This withdrawal has been received like a stab-in-the-heart to Neocons in both the US and . . . . in Israel!
Neocons are coming out of the woodwork in the US screaming that a US withdrawal from northern Syria will have "devastating consequences for US foreign policy" but the reality seems something else.
What ACTUALLY appears to be happening is that REBEL and TERRORIST GROUPS IN SYRIA will no longer have US force presence to protect THEM from being wiped out by Syrian and Russian efforts.
The REBELS and TERRORISTS hiding out in northern Syria are now sitting ducks to be annihilated . . . and apparently US and Israeli neocons are furious about this. One wonders why ? ? ?
(OK, no one really wonders why . . . most folks already know that it is the US and Israeli Neocons who created, funded, and got their pals in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and elsewhere to train and arm the REBELS and TERRORISTS all along.
Thus, what's really taking place is the Neocon war planning, and the diversion of money so as to fund a lot of other mischief by them, has just been cut off by President Trump ordering withdrawal of troops from northern Syria.)
So butthurt are the Neocons in the US, that NEWSWEEK reports:
"Donald Trump got "rolled" by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a National Security Council source with direct knowledge of the discussions told Newsweek.
In a scheduled phone call on Sunday afternoon between President Trump and President Erdogan, Trump said he would withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria. The phone call was scheduled after Turkey announced it was planning to invade Syria, and hours after Erdogan reinforced his army units at the Syrian-Turkish border and issued his strongest threat to launch a military incursion, according to the National Security Council official to whom Newsweek spoke on condition of anonymity.
The U.S. withdrawal plays into the hands of the Islamic State group, Damascus and Moscow, and the announcement left Trump's own Defense Department "completely stunned," said Pentagon officials.
"President Trump was definitely out-negotiated and only endorsed the troop withdraw to make it look like we are getting something—but we are not getting something," the National Security Council source told Newsweek. "The U.S. national security has entered a state of increased danger for decades to come because the president has no spine and that's the bottom line."
Newsweek granted the National Security Council official anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The source said it would not be surprising to see a Turkish incursion in the next 24 to 96 hours."
That reporting is classic propaganda; the Intel Community WANTS more war, and they're using the media (many of whom they pay) to try to pressure the President to stop what he's doing.
And the Intel Community is pulling out all the stops, too! They've even gotten several US Senators (believed by many to be compromised via sexual proclivities) to come out publicly against the situation.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R) and Senator Van Hollen say they will introduce bipartisan sanctions bill against Turkey and call for Ankara’s suspension from NATO “if Turkey invades Syria.”
Senator Marco Rubio is now publicly saying this situation will be a disaster for the US.
UPDATE 7:17 PM EDT --
Turkish jets targeted 2 targets near the Tigris river in the Syria-Turkey-Kurdistan triangle. One strike was in Syria and the other on the KRG side.