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Dec 13 2018

U.S. and Kurds want Islamic State gold - Yeni Şafak

The United States and the U.S.-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) are after more than seven tonnes of gold and 17 tonnes of silver kept by the Islamic State (ISIS), Turkish pro-government daily Yeni Şafak reported on Wednesday.

A former member of ISIS told Yeni Şafak that the terrorist group had converted its oil revenues into gold, which totalled more than 13 tonnes in mid-2016.

“Only seven people knew where they kept the gold. Two of them were killed, one of them is missing,” he said. 

The United States and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) are now pursuing the gold of ISIS, he added. 

Turkey recognises the YPG, as an extension of the PKK, which has been fighting inside Turkey since 1984.

Washington differentiates the PKK and the YPG. While it recognises the former as a terrorist organisation, the latter forms the backbone of U.S.-backed forces in Syria fighting ISIS. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Wednesday that Turkey would in a few days launch a military offensive against the YPG forces fighting against ISIS in northeast Syria.

The United States opposes a unilateral Turkish military action saying that the U.S. personnel may be present or in the vicinity.