Syrian Kurdistan’s PYD party rejects Turkish demands, warns against intervention

BEIRUT,— 14 Feb 2016 – The Kurdish PYD party in Syrian Kurdistan on Sunday rejected Turkish demands that allied militia withdraw from positions near the border that are being shelled by Turkish army, and warned that Syrians would resist any Turkish intervention in the country.Salih Muslim, the co-chair of the PYD, told Reuters Turkey had no right to intervene in Syria’s internal affairs, adding that an air base shelled by the Turkish army on Saturday had been in the hands of the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front until forces allied to the PYD captured it last week.


“Do they want the Nusra Front to stay there, or for the regime to come and occupy it?” Muslim said by telephone. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday demanded the PYD withdraw from areas north of Aleppo he said had been captured by the Kurdish group. Asked if he rejected that demand, Muslim said: “Of course”.

Salih said the air base was captured by the PYD-allied Syria Democratic Forces, which includes Arabs and Turkmen alongside the powerful Syrian Kurdish YPG militia.He added that if Turkey intervened in Syria they would find “the entire Syrian people confronting them”. Turkey on Saturday demanded the YPG militia withdraw from areas that it had captured in the northern Aleppo region in recent days from insurgents in Syria, including the Menagh air base. The Turkish shelling has targeted those areas. The Turkish army shells positions of Kurdish fighters inside Syria for a second day Sunday in response to incoming fire, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.