Amidst the attack by Turkey on Kurds in Northern Syria, U.S President Donald Trump has accused Kurdish forces, a former ally, of intentionally releasing ISIS detainees “to get us involved.”

According to analysts, the Trump news on Kurds has echoed the narrative of Turkish officials and the facts looked different from the ground reality.

Trump’s charges also amounted to undermining the contribution of Kurds-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in quelling the ISIS or Islamic State threat.

According to a report by CNN, there are no indications that Kurdish-led SDF intentionally released any of the 10,000-plus ISIS prisoners from its custody.

The political wing of the SDF also disputed Trump's claim and said the group did not “release any prisoners and will never do that.”

A senior U.S. defense official also told CNN that Trump’s allegation looks wrong because Kurds are the people who defeated ISIS.

According to some U.S. officials, the SDF lost 11,000 troops in the fight against ISIS. It is unlikely they will intentionally release ISIS prisoners as the terrorist group still poses a threat to many Kurdish-held areas.

The attack by Turkish forces on the SDF in northern Syria has forced the Kurdish-led militia to shift troops from prison duty to border areas to protect fellow Kurds.

The fallout of the Turkish invasion

The Kurdish dilemma was apparent in the words of SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali when he said: “We did not have professional jails or professional prisons to keep those prisoners in.”

Kurdish authorities also said Turkish warplanes and artillery that struck many detention camps also led to the escape of several ISIS prisoners and nearly 785 people linked to Islamic State fighters.

However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dubbed such reports as disinformation and a bid to “provoke the U.S. and Europe.”

Meanwhile, the invasion of Turkey into Syria has changed the equations. The SDF, a U.S ally until recently, switched over to the side of the Syrian government, according to Syria analyst Danny Makki.

Makki also said Syria news suggested a deal that forced the SDF to disband itself and amalgamate into Syrian forces.

Donald Trump hailed progress in the first day of trade talks between China and the US, fuelling optimism on markets
Donald Trump hailed progress in the first day of trade talks between China and the US, fuelling optimism on markets AFP / Brendan Smialowski

The US slaps sanctions on Turkey

The U.S. government is trying to restrain Turkey from the offensive against Kurds. On Monday, it slapped sanctions on two Turkish ministries and three senior government officials.

“The Turkish government's actions are endangering innocent civilians, and destabilizing the region, including undermining the campaign to defeat ISIS,” a statement by the U.S Treasury added.

According to Vice-President Mike Pence, President Trump also phoned his Turkish counterpart, Erdogan, to demand an immediate ceasefire.

Turkey’s rationale for the invasion of Syria is that it is trying to push back Kurdish forces from the border region for establishing a “safe zone.”