The US respects the secret agreement the PKK-affiliated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) made with ISIS to leave Raqqa, Department of Defense Spokesman on Iraq and Syria said Monday.
Spokesman Eric Pahon told Anadolu Agency that the agreement between SDF and ISIS is a "local solution to a local problem," and that the SDF signed the agreement at a period when the US-led coalition against ISIS had difficulty carrying out airstrikes due to the number of civilians in the area.
Pahon claimed that the agreement aimed to "protect civilians" and that although the US may not always be on the same page with its partners regarding the resolution of some issues, it respects partners finding their own solutions to their own problems.
A senior official from the coalition against ISIS observed the agreement, the spokesman said, while denying claims that the coalition was a part of the deal.
Earlier, BBC reported that a secret deal was made between ISIS and SDF, allowing hundreds of ISIS terrorists to escape Raqqa.
In response to this, Army Colonel Ryan Dillon who is the Spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the US-led coalition against ISIS said that the deal was not a secret and added that it was a "local solution to a local problem."
Top US envoy for the anti-ISIS coalition Brett McGurk had previously stated that foreign fighters in Raqqa would die in the city.
Since June, the US-backed YPG terrorists were battling to defeat ISIS terrorists in Raqqa, which served as the terrorist group’s de facto capital in Syria and declared victory in the city in October.
Despite its fall, the group’s media apparatus has remained active and its terrorists are likely to keep up their insurgency from desert areas.