Kurds might be freeing ISIS prisoners: Trump

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2019 (Xinhua) — U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on Oct. 10, 2019. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he hopes to mediate between Turkey and the Syrian Kurds, and also threatened to punish Turkey if its offensive in northeast Syria goes beyond limits. (Photo by Ting Shen/Xinhua/IANS)

Washington, Oct 15 (IANS) President Donald Trump suggested that Kurds could be freeing Islamic State (ISIS) prisoners amid the offensive launched by the Turkish army in northeast Syria in order to compel the United States to get involved in the situation, and warned that big sanctions were about to be imposed on Ankara.

“Kurds may be releasing some to get us involved,” Trump posted on Twitter on Monday, adding that the former war prisoners can be “easily recaptured by Turkey or European Nations from where many came,” but warned that to be able to do so, “they should move quickly.”

“Big sanctions on Turkey coming! Do people really think we should go to war with NATO Member Turkey? Never ending wars will end!” he tweeted, Efe news reported.

Trump noted that the United States will not get involved in “another war between people who have been fighting with each other for 200 years.”

With regard to the jihadist prisoners, he said that Europe had the chance to get them back but “didn’t want the cost” and left it up to the United States to pay the bill.

Just this Monday, France announced it had taken steps to strengthen security in it territory due to the terrorism that could be unleashed by the release of jihadists held by Kurdish forces in northeast Syria until the Turkish attack began.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement that “our conviction is that this offensive risks … to create unbearable humanitarian situations and help Daesh (another name for ISIS) to re-emerge in the region.”

On Sunday, also on Twitter, Trump said he was negotiating with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham “and many members of Congress, including Democrats, about imposing powerful Sanctions on Turkey.”

“Treasury is ready to go…there is great consensus on this,” Trump warned.

Shortly before, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper had suggested that some of the actions by Turkish forces in their incursion into Syria, kicked off when Washington ordered its troops out of the area, appear to be war crimes.

He made the comment on the CBS Sunday news program “Face the Nation” about whether the brutality inflicted by the Turks could be classified as war crimes, including the group executions of captive Kurds.

The Turkish army launched its invasion of Syria on October 9, after the United States, an ally of the Kurds in the war against ISIS, announced its withdrawal from the area as the time of the attack approached.

The Kurdish leadership in the area reached agreement over the weekend with the government in Damascus that will see the Syrian army enter the region to counter the Turkish offensive.

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