ISIS pulls out of Jarablus; Kurdish militias accuse US of abandoning them
DEBKAfile military and intelligence sources: More than a day after Turkey launched its invasion of northern Syria aimed at capturing the city of Jarablus from ISIS, it appears that the terrorist organization has left the city without a fight. On Thursday, pro-Turkish Syrian militias, in cooperation with the Turkish military, took control of most of Jarablus as well as the main roads to and from the city from the east, west and south. Syria's Foreign Ministry issued a statement the previous day condemning the invasion and calling it a violation of the country's sovereignty, but DEBKAfile's intelligence sources report that Turkey's move was coordinated in advance with Syrian President Bashar Assad. Meanwhile, US Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday during a joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Ankara that Syrian Kurdish forces will lose US support if they don't retreat to the east bank of the Euphrates River. DEBKAfile's intelligence sources report Biden's statement shows that the US has accepted all of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's terms regarding the Kurds and exposed them to a Turkish military attack if they fail to withdraw. The Kurdish militias operating in northern Syria accuse Washington of abandoning them by cooperating with Turkey's plan that they say is aimed at blocking Kurdish territorial continuity rather than fighting ISIS. The Kurds have announced that they will fight the Turkish invasion.