Turkey will prevent Daesh fighters from leaving Syria, Erdogan says


Turkey has launched a military offensive in northern Syria against YPG Kurds.

TheTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a forum on Tuesday that his country would prevent ISIS fighters from leaving northeastern Syria where the Turkish army is conducting an offensive against Kurdish forces.

"We will make sure that no Daesh fighter can leave northeastern Syria," Erdogan wrote in the Wall Street Journal column as worries escalate in the West about the fate of these fighters.

The Turkish leader seeks to alleviate the concerns of Westerners who fear a resurgence of Daesh and the flight of its fighters held by the Kurdish forces of the YPG who are targeted by the offensive launched Wednesday by Turkey.

"We are ready to cooperate with countries of origin and international organizations for the rehabilitation of women and children of foreign terrorist fighters," he added.

Turkey on Monday accused Kurdish forces of deliberately releasing Daesh members they held in northeastern Syria to "wreak havoc" in the region.

World leaders rise up

In a tweet, US President Donald Trump also seemed to raise this assumption on Monday by saying, "The Kurds may be releasing some of them to force us to get involved."

But Monday night, US Defense Minister Mark Esper strongly denounced the Turkish offensive "unacceptable" in Syria, saying it had resulted in the "release of many dangerous detainees" of Daesh.

In his column, Erdogan also criticized Western countries that "today give lessons to Turkey on the virtues of fighting Daesh after failing to stop the flow of foreign fighters in 2014 and 2015".

French President Emmanuel Macron, who has strongly criticized the Turkish offensive since its launch, insisted on Monday with Trump in a telephone conversation about the "absolute need to prevent a resurgence" of Daesh, according to the Elysee.

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