In an exclusive interview with Sky News, Salih Muslim, the leader of the Kurdish PYD, or Democratic Union Party (pictured above), has encouraged the United States and its coalition of countries to use the Kurdish-held regions of Syria– collectively known as Rojava— as a base of their operations against the so-called Islamic State terrorists.
Close Partnership Between US and Syrian Kurds
The armed wing of the Kurdish PYD in Syria, known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, have been widely recognized to be the most effective units in the fight against ISIL. U.S. Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter recently praised the YPG when he said,
We are doing more in Syria from the air.. and the opportunity to do that effectively is provided… by the effective action on the ground by Kurdish forces.
Recently, President Obama told Turkey that Syrian Kurds, primarily the YPG, should not be targeted by Turkish airstrikes, because the US-coalition relies so heavily on the Kurds to roll back ISIL forces on the ground.
Opening Rojava to the World
Mr. Muslim’s invitation would allow the United States to work more closely with the armed wing of the PYD, and would also give the U.S.-led coalition closer access to Islamic State targets, allowing for more effective airstrikes on the group.
Mr. Muslim has also opened up the possibility of allowing moderate Syrian rebels, namely the Free Syrian Army (FSA), to train in Rojava. These units have been training in Turkey, and with the support of the United States, have been fighting to defeat Syrian government troops in western Syria. Said Muslim,
[Read more at Sky News]
We would welcome the [US-led] coalition to operate from Rojava, and we would welcome the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to train there too.