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Trump: SDF may release prisoners from ISIS

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Kurdish-led forces in northeastern Syria may deliberately release detained Islamic State militants to push US troops back into the region, US President Donald Trump said on Monday, adding it would be easy to get them back.

The Turkish offensive in northern Syria has raised fears ISIS militants and members of their families held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces may flee and revive the group. Dozens of them are reported to have already fled.

“The Kurds may release some to get us to intervene,” Trump said in a Twitter series. It is very easy for Turkey or the European countries from which many come from to be held back, but they should move quickly. ”

The Turkish offensive began after Trump’s decision to withdraw the remaining 1,000 US troops in northern Syria, a move condemned by both Republican and Democratic critics.

Turkey aims to eliminate the YPG, the main component of the SDF. Ankara, Washington’s NATO partner, views the YPG as a terrorist organization because of its ties to a Kurdish insurgency in Turkey.

Trump, in tweets he published on Monday morning, threatened “significant sanctions” against Turkey. The Trump administration announced on Friday it would prepare sanctions against Turkey, and US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said banks were being notified.

But Trump and his administration did not give details of possible sanctions or what would make them take effect.

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