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Turkey Launches Probe after Call for Brett McGurk's Arrest

Turkey Launches Probe after Call for Brett McGurk's Arrest

Saturday, 9 December, 2017 - 08:45
Brett McGurk, US envoy to the coalition against ISIS, speaks during a news conference at the US Embassy in Amman, Jordan, November 6, 2016. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

The Prosecutor General in Ankara has launched an investigation into the activities of Washington's envoy to the US-led coalition Brett McGurk after two Turkish organizations called for his arrest over alleged “collusion with terrorist groups.”

"The Platform for Civilian Struggle against the Fethullah Terrorist Organization" and another association have claimed that McGurk had sought to “overturn Turkey’s constitutional order” in concert with “terrorists” and had provided them with arms.

These were named as the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG).

In the past years, McGurk has on more than one occasion met with leaders from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The YPG forms the bulk of the SDF.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in May he wanted the US special envoy to the coalition against ISIS, removed from his post, for allegedly supporting Kurdish militants.

Meanwhile, a high-level defector from Kurdish-led forces that captured the Syrian city of Raqqa from ISIS has recanted his account of the city's fall, saying thousands of militants- many more than first reported - left under a secret, US-approved deal.

"Agreement was reached for the terrorists to leave, about 4,000 people, them and their families," Talal Silo, a former commander in the Syrian Democratic Forces, said, adding that all but about 500 were fighters.

He told Reuters they headed east to ISIS-controlled areas around Deir al-Zor, where the Syrian regime forces were gaining ground.

For three days the SDF banned people from going to Raqqa, saying fighting was in progress to deal with militants who had not given themselves up.

"It was all theater," Silo said.

"The announcement was cover for those who left for Deir al-Zor", he said, adding that the agreement was endorsed by the United States which wanted a swift end to the Raqqa battle so the SDF could move on towards Deir al-Zor.

Also Friday, the Turkish presidency said Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Turkey on Monday.

Turkish sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the discussions will focus on the Syrian Congress that is scheduled to be held in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi next February.

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