YPG Denies Reports that it Refuses to Join Military Council

30/11/2012  RUDAW – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—The leadership of the People’s Defense Units (YPG) released a statement this week, saying that it still honors the provisions of an agreement recently signed in Erbil with the Kurdish Supreme Council.

In their statement published on the Firat News Agency, YPG commanders said, “As YPG, we will abide by the decisions of the supreme council because we are national force, and away from political interests, we defend our nation.”

This statement was released following reports that the YPG—the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD)—had violated the Erbil agreement and refused to incorporate their fighters in the new military council.

“This announcement is an answer to rumors published in some media outlets,” said the YPG. “During the meetings in Erbil we did not have a chance to meet with the heads of the Kurdish Supreme Council, that is why we express our views in this statement.”

Meanwhile, the YPG leadership praised the efforts of Kurdistan Region Presidency for advancing unity among groups in Western Kurdistan, saying, “Only with national unity can we overcome the obstacles of the Kurdish revolution.”

In the past several months, serious disputes had surfaced among Kurdish groups in Syria on the one hand and Arab rebels and YPG fighters on the other, particularly in the town of Sere Kaniye.

Following some recent clashes in Western Kurdistan between Syrian Arab rebels and YPG forces on the one hand, and several groups suspending their membership in the councils, serious disagreements surfaced between the Kurdish groups. As a result the authorities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq organized an-all-party meeting in Erbil where the PYD and the Kurdish National Council signed an agreement to join forces and form a united military council. An earlier statement by the YPG following the Erbil meeting read, “There is no other force with which we can unite. We will not allow the formation of another fake force to negotiate with or to be used as a pressure card.”

Ismail Hama, member of the Kurdish Supreme Council and secretary general of the Kurdish Unity Party in Syria told Rudaw last week that the creation of a joint force was the most immediate task of party leaders that gathered in Erbil earlier this month.

He said, “We had agreed to gather all the parties’ armed forces in Western Kurdistan under a united military council as soon as we were back in Syria.” More than 20 different political groups make up the KNC and the Supreme Council in Western Kurdistan. Both councils signed an agreement under the auspices of Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani on June 11 known as the Erbil Agreement, which was followed by the formation of the supreme council in Qamishli in July.