Former ISIS members among Turkish-backed Syrian rebels - ARD
There are former Islamic State (ISIS) members among the Turkish-backed Syrian rebels, who are accused of war crimes in the war-torn country, German ARD television reported.
ARD cited the specific example of a former ISIS member known as "Hussein Al Jolani," who is now part of the Ankara-backed rebel group in Syria.
According to the first German television @ARDKontraste , among the jihadists supported by Turkey are also former ISIS terrorists. One of them "Hussein Al Jolani" via @Georg_Heil pic.twitter.com/31wWHpWkmd— Cesur Milusoy (@cesurmilusoy) October 26, 2019
There are more than 70,000 suspected ISIS members in camps scattered across northeastern Syria.Turkey, along with its Syrian rebel allies, on Oct. 9 launched an offensive in northeast Syria targeting the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which dominate the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group that has spearheaded the U.S.-led war on ISIS in the region.
The SDF, backed by the U.S., held tens and thousands of ISIS members in camps throughout the region. The Turkish operation has led to increasing concerns of the group fleeing and a resurgence of ISIS in the region.
The U.S. envoy to Syria, Jim Jeffrey, on Wednesday said there is evidence of war crimes being committed during the Turkish offensive by Turkey-backed Syrian rebels in the north of the country, while videos emerged on social media of apparent atrocities.
Turkish officials have denied that war crimes have been committed, dismissing the allegations a "smear campaign."
Turkey sees the YPG as an existential threat due to its links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for over 30 years.
There future of the Syrian rebels that took part in Turkey’s military offensive remains unclear after Ankara and Moscow on Tuesday signed a deal to establish a buffer zone in northern Syria.