By Safvan Allahverdi
U.S.-backed Syrian opposition forces killed more than 20 Daesh terrorists who fled an area controlled by pro-Syrian regime forces, U.S. military officials said Thursday.
According to the U.S.-led coalition, known officially as Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), a vetted Syrian opposition group known as the Maghawir al-Thawra detected the Daesh fighters early Wednesday in an area controlled by pro-Syrian regime forces in southern Syria in the Al-Tanf border region.
The Maghawir al-Thawra have been fighting Daesh in the tri-border area of Iraq, Syria and Jordan since 2015.
"The Daesh terrorists freely moved through an area controlled by pro-Syrian regime forces," OIR spokesperson Col. Ryan Dillon said in a statement.
"This is the second time in less than a month that convoys of Daesh terrorists, fleeing the middle Euphrates River valley, transited through regime-controlled territory."
Coalition director of operations Brigadier General Jonathan Braga said "despite the presence of Russian-backed, pro-Syrian regime forces in the area, Daesh still finds ways to move freely through regime lines and pose a threat."
He added that the coalition will continue to work with partner forces to prevent Daesh from re-establishing a foothold in the area.
According to eyewitnesses and media reports, however, the SDF -- the U.S.-backed armed group largely controlled and manned by the PKK/PYD terrorists in Syria -- also made agreements with Daesh terrorists allowing them safe passage more than once.
The U.S. has supported the PKK/PYD under the name of SDF, which is regarded by Ankara as the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror organization that has waged a more than 30-year war against the Turkish state.
Since the PKK launched its terror campaign in Turkey in 1984, tens of thousands of people -- including infants -- have been killed, including more than 1,200 since July 2015 alone.
Talal Silo -- a former commander and spokesperson of the SDF, earlier this month told Anadolu Agency that the SDF-dominated Manbij Military Council, set up when the city was taken from Daesh, allowed 2,000 Daesh terrorists to leave the city.
Daesh terrorists bought documents from the SDF allowing them to escape for as little as $200, Silo said, adding that even high-profile Daesh commanders, or emirs, were able to purchase the papers for a few thousand dollars.
"Around 2,000 militants ran away from Manbij," he also told British daily The Times on Tuesday.
"I was there when they left. They were able to get papers from SDF commanders."
Revealing that a similar deal was also brokered in Al Tabqah and the Euphrates River, Silo said the SDF and the U.S. provided "security" as they headed towards Jarablus on the Turkish border.
His defection and revelations came after the BBC reported last month that the SDF and U.S. allowed 250 terrorists and 3,500 of their family members to flee Raqqah on Oct. 12.
According to the report, Daesh also withdrew at least 10 vehicles loaded with arms and ammunition and the fighters included foreigners alongside Iraqis and Syrians.