Rojava’s Peshmerga forces refuse to join Azaz battle to avoid confrontation with fellow Kurdish troops

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Kurdish forces of the Rojava Peshmerga taking a break after clashes with ISIS militants in the vicinity of Makhmur town in northern Iraq. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

ALEPPO – The Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga forces [also known as Rojava’s Peshmerga] have rejected the request of Anas al-Abda, the president of the Syrian coalition to enter Azaz last week, and to fight ISIS and possibly their fellow Kurds.

In a statement, the Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC) –political leadership of the Rojava’s Peshmerga– said they will not fight outside of the areas considered to be part of Kurdistan, such as Azaz, after the head of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) visited the President of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani last week. 

Majdal Delli, a member of the Kurdish Unity party, one of the parties part of the KNC, told ARA News that the Rojava Peshmerga “have only one aim: to protect the Kurdish areas.”

The Kurdish official said there is no decision yet to join the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)–led by the People’s Protection Units (YPG). 

“This is related to the political situation of the Syrian coalition. In the beginning they rejected the Peshmergas to participate in the Geneva talks, and they lost a lot of things on the ground and want to involve the Kurds in their problems,” Kurdish analyst and former official in the Kobane administration Idris Nassan told ARA News. 

“They [Syrian opposition’s coalition] want to use the Kurds against each other [Peshmerga & YPG], and replace their lost fighters by the Peshmerga forces, but Barzani rejected this,” he said. “If he sends Rojava Peshmerga forces they could be involved with kurdish fighters, and this is not good for his sake and Rojava’s side, and this would result in the loss of any future relations with Rojava,” he said. 

According to Nassan, there are some rumours the Syrian Peshmergas trained by the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces, could join the Syrian Democratic Forces. “In general, we say that the YPG can join the SDF, we have many groups in the SDF,” he told ARA News. 

Ibrahim Kurdo, head of the foreign relations in the PYD-led Auto-Administration in northern Syria, said that 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,” he said.

“They want two military powers to attack each other, as what happened in Lebanon,” he said. “Also in Kurdistan, Masoud Barzani and Talabani forces attacked each other [in the 1990s]. We don’t want to repeat the same experience in Rojava,” he said. 

“When the Rojava Peshmergas will come as part of the SDF, we have no problem with that,” Kurdo concluded.

However, Ibrahim Biro, the head of the Kurdish National Council (KNC), rejected joining the SDF. “They have a good relation with the Syrian regime, that’s why we cannot joint them,” he told ARA News.

The Kurdish-led SDF forces have denied any link to the Syrian regime, and in late April they clashed with pro-regime militias for more than two days in Qamishli, taking the regime prison in Alaya and capturing regime positions in the city.

Speaking to ARA News, Bahjat Taymas, a major general in the Kurdish Zerevani Peshmerga forces in Iraqi Kurdistan, said they have trained 3,000 Rojava Peshmerga forces. “They don’t want to fight Kurds, only ISIS,” he said.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg 

Source: ARA News 

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