Pentagon: Turkey is still the main transit center for ISIS mercenaries

The report of the inspector general in the Pentagon confirmed that despite the efforts of the International Coalition and partner forces on the ground to curb ISIS, Turkey is still a great facility for the passage of these mercenaries, and that Turkey and its mercenaries continue its violations in Afrin and cut off drinking water to civilians.

A new report by the Inspector General covering the second quarter of 2020 (April 1, 2020 - June 30, 2020) said that Turkey remains a regional transit hub for ISIS mercenaries, and as the European American leadership has described Turkey as the “main facilitation hub” of ISIS, it said Security on the country's southern borders with Syria and Iraq remains a problem.

Western allies have criticized Turkey for years for failing to prevent the flow of foreign fighters into Syria, which critics say has contributed to the initial rise of ISIS in the region.

Although the US-led military coalition in Iraq and Syria has pushed ISIS out of the main strongholds it has occupied, the terrorist group has remained active in the region, the report said.

The report added, ISIS attacks escalated from late April to late May during the holy month of Ramadan, and the terrorist group took advantage of restrictions imposed on security forces due to the coronavirus pandemic to launch further attacks.

The report quoted the Defense Intelligence Agency as saying that ISIS relies mainly on small local attacks and that it "is likely" unable to lead operations outside Iraq and Syria.

The Pentagon Inspector General's report (IG) stated that the US State Department remains concerned about reports of violations committed by Turkish-backed groups in this quarter, including “arbitrary arrests, seizure of private property, resettlement of other people in seized homes, and closures. Deliberate access to water for half a million civilians, and the transfer of arbitrarily detained Syrians across the border into Turkey.

The Ministry of Defense also expressed concern about reports of human rights violations in Afrin, "including the desecration of several Yazidi shrines, the kidnapping of women, and the looting and vandalism of homes and archaeological sites."

The US State Department also continued, according to the report, to raise these alleged violations with Turkey and to press for credible and transparent investigations into the allegations and to hold those responsible accountable.

"However, so far, there has been no evidence that the Syrian interim government that is supposed to control these rebel groups or the Turkish government that controls the region has taken credible measures to hold the criminals who committed these violations," she added.

Moreover, the report said: "The United States has not imposed sanctions on any of these Turkish-backed groups involved in crimes, despite the October executive order to briefly punish Turkey for its incursion into northeastern Syria."



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