Syria’s state-run news agency SANA cited local sources as saying on Thursday that the US military had transported more than 600 family members of Daesh terrorists from Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah to neighbouring Iraq’s safe sanctuaries.
They mainly included women and children who were moved from the al-Hol refugee camp after five US Humvee military vehicles and about 30 American soldiers reportedly positioned near the camp located close to the Syria-Iraq border.
The report has been the latest in a series over the past few years to disclose the evacuation of Daesh militants and their relatives from Syria by the US forces.
In February 2018, an anonymous source from al-Hasakah said that local residents had witnessed US helicopters landing on the territory of a local prison and then leaving, apparently on a mission to evacuate jihadists.
In November 2017, reports emerged claiming that “US military aviation” was used to take Daesh commanders from the town of al-Mayadin just before it was recaptured by the Syrian army. The US Department of Defence rejected the reports as unsubstantiated.
Commenting on the matter, the Russian Defence Ministry, in turn, stated that the US-led coalition was engaged in the training of former Daesh and Nusra Front terrorists on a base near al-Hasakah in order to create the new militant formation called the "New Syrian Army."
Trump Reveals Why Some US Troops Still in Northern Syria
The Thursday evacuation comes a few days after President Donald Trump reiterated his “we keep the oil” mantra pertaining to his previous announcement about the withdrawal of all US troops from northern Syria.
“We left their border. We’ve been on their border long enough. They're doing just fine on their border. We kept the oil. I kept the oil,” Trump said referring to oil fields inside Syria’s northeast.
Russia, for its part, has repeatedly criticised Washington's decision to keep its troops stationed at major oil fields in Syria's northeast instead, calling it "illegitimate" and "destructive" for the country.
Moscow insists that these areas should be controlled by the country's government in Damascus, with Syrian President Bashar Assad asserting that Washington was simply stealing his country’s crude reserves.
*Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State), a terrorist group banned in Russia and a number of other countries