Turkey criticizes ISIL-SDF deal for evacuation of fighters from Raqqa
The ministry said the reported evacuation of ISIL members from the besieged city of Raqqa in Syria, as a result of an agreement with the SDF, which is dominated by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), is an “extremely grave and eye-opening revelation.”
“We have repeatedly stressed that the true purpose of the PKK/YPG in Syria is not to fight Daesh but to create an illegitimate fait accompli on the ground, to occupy territories, and to alter their demographic structures,” the ministry said in a written statement on Nov. 14, using an Arabic acronym for ISIL.
“The [SDF-ISIL] deal sets a new example of the fact that fighting one terrorist organization with another eventually results in these terrorist organizations colluding with each other,” read the statement.
The ministry also said it “deplores the statements of the spokespersons of the Global Coalition against Daesh and the U.S. Department of Defense,” which had expressed their “respect” for the deal.
Coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon told reporters that “out of the 3,500 civilians that came out of ... Raqaa at that time, approximately less than 300 were identified and screened as potential ISIL fighters.”
Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon defined the deal as part of a “local solution to a local issue.”