On May 22, Polat Can, a senior military commander of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), accused Russia of cooperating with ISIS. The commander claimed that evacuation of ISIS fighters from southern Damascus is a proof of the relationship between Russia and the terrorist organization.
“It’s now confirmed for the whole world how strong is the level of coordination between Russia and terrorist groups including ISIS. The recent agreement between Russia and ISIS in Damascus is one of the series of Russian agreements with terrorism,” Polat Can said in a Tweet.
تأكد مجدداً للعالم أجمع مدى قوة التنسيق بين الروس و المجموعات الارهابية و على رأسها تنظيم داعش الارهابي. ما حدث مؤخراً في دمشق من اتفاق بين الجانب الروسي و ارهابيي داعش كانت حلقة من سلسلة الاتفاقيات الروسية مع الارهاب.#روسيا #داعش #النصرة #احرار_الشام #اردوغان #جيش_الاسلام
— بولات جان Polat Can (@PolatCanRojava) May 22, 2018
Less than 1,000 fighters of ISIS and members of their families withdrew from southern Damascus on May 21. Later, Syrian pro-government and opposition sources said that ISIS fighters had been evacuated to the al-Rukban refugee camp in the al-Tanaf area, which is under the control of the US-led coalition.
According to pro-governemnt sources, this proves that it was the US-led coalition who played a key role in the evacuation of ISIS fighters from southern Damascus by accepting to host them, and not Russia, contrary to Polat claims.
The US-led coalition and the SDF havve made several well-documented deals with ISIS since 2014. Among the biggest deals was an evacuation agreement that was reached in the city of Manbij in August, 2016, which allowed more than 2,000 ISIS fighters to withdraw with their heavy weapons from the city .
A bigger evacuation deal was reached at the end of the Raqqa battle in October 2017. Under the deal, the US-led coalition and the SDF allowed more than 3,000 fighters of ISIS to withdraw from the city, again with their heavy weapons and trucks loaded with ammunition.
According to local observers, Polat accusations are an attempt to demonizing the picture of Russia among Syrian Kurds. The SDF began to spread such propaganda in its areas since the beginning of the Turkish attack on Afrin area, earlier this year.