MESOP: FAR AWAY FROM KURDISH UNITY – Kurds Refuse Opposition Request for Joint Defense in Northwest Syria

14 June 2016 – Scott Lucas – eaworldview -The Syrian Kurdish National Council has rejected the request of Anas al-Abda, for joint defense of the town of Azaz near the Turkish border.

The KNC, which oversees Syrian Peshmerga forces, said they will not deploy forces outside of the areas considered to be part of Kurdistan. Majdal Delli, a member of the Kurdish Unity Party, said the Peshmerga “have only one aim: to protect the Kurdish areas”.

Earlier this month, the Islamic State threatened Azaz when it advanced and cut off the town from Mare’ to the southeast, on the frontline of the ISIS war with Syrian rebels. A rebel coalition fended off the Islamic State’s attacks on Mare’ and has regained some of the lost area.

Since last year, the Kurdish National Council has been overshadowed by the Kurdistan Democratic Union Party (PYD), whose YPG militia has gained territory from the Islamic State in northeast Syria and has fought rebels in the northwest.The YPG is the leading militia in the Syrian Democratic Forces, formed last autumn and supported by US weapons, ammunition, special forces, and airstrikes. The SDF, having advanced westward across the Euphrates River, has surrounded Manbij, ISIS’s main position in Aleppo Province. An official of the KNC, which has had a tense relationship with the PYD and the YPG militia, said there has been no decision yet on whether to join the SDF

However, Ibrahim Biro, the head of the KNC, indicated, “[The SDF] have a good relation with the Syrian regime, that’s why we cannot join them.” Meanwhile, the PYD rejected any connection with the Syrian National Coalition, saying that its president Abda is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and follows Turkish and Saudi demands.“He wants to pressure our project in Rojava through Peshmerga forces, but will not be successful,” said Ibrahim Kurdo, head of foreign relations in the PYD-led administration in northern Syria. www.mesop