PKK/YPG, Daesh terror conflict follows damaged deal

ANKARA

Two terror groups, the PKK/YPG and Daesh, have exchanged fire in eastern Syria after some of them refused to evacuate a small enclave, violating a previously reached deal, according to correspondents on the ground.

A U.S.-brokered deal was reached last month between the YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists in the town of Bagoz in the eastern Deir ez-Zor province.

Under the agreement, a large number of Daesh terrorists had left the town and surrendered, but some refused to leave.

Supported by coalition partner planes, the PKK/YPG late Sunday initiated a ground attack in a bid to take control of the town, killing eight Daesh terrorists in the process.

It remains unknown if there were any civilian casualties, and the coalition has yet to make a statement.

According to Anadolu Agency reporters on the ground, the deal allows Daesh members and their families to stay in YPG/PKK camps in Syria if they wish.

Daesh members who do not want to stay in the camps were promised alternative routes, including into the Euphrates Shield Operation zone and Afrin — both areas liberated in Turkish military campaigns – or into areas controlled by the Bashar al-Assad regime.

Under the deal, the YPG/PKK will provide a special travel document to Daesh members seeking to leave the camps, the correspondents said.

With this document, Daesh terrorists and their families will be able to reside in territories occupied by the YPG/PKK.

Furthermore, injured Daesh members will be treated in hospitals held by YPG/PKK and will be discharged within two months.

Ankara has repeatedly criticized the U.S. for allying itself with the terrorist YPG/PKK, ostensibly to fight the Daesh terror group, arguing that using one terrorist group to fight another makes no sense.

In its 30-year terrorist campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives, including women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.

The Daesh terrorist group currently controls only 2 percent of territory in Syria.

The U.S.-backed YPG/PKK terrorist group, meanwhile, controls some 28 percent of Syrian territory and some 70 percent of the country’s oil fields.

The Assad regime controls some 60 percent of territory, whereas the military opposition and anti-regime armed groups hold some 10 percent.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed or displaced in the conflict, mainly by regime airstrikes targeting opposition-held areas.

* Writing by Vakkas Dogantekin

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