World Bulletin / News Desk
Redur Xelil, spokesman for the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria, has called on Kurds from outside the country to come to the region to fight off threats from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Speaking to Al-Monitor in an article published on Sunday from the Kurdish border region of Kobani, Xelil accused the Al-Qaeda breakaway group ISIL of co-operating with Bashar al-Assad's regime to "remove the new democratic experiment of the Kurds.”
Kobani is one of three autonomous cantons declared by Syrian Kurds along the country's northern border with Turkey. The withdrawal of Syrian regime soldiers from the region left a power vacuum which was quickly filled by armed Kurdish groups, who are contested by ISIL.
In saying so, YPG has expressed an opinion shared by other Kurdish groups in the region, including the the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) such as the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as well as the National Council (KNC), which is backed by the president of the autunomous Kurdish Regional Government of northern Iraq, Massoud Barzani.
“The regime is trying to weaken the Kurds,“ Xelil said, adding the there is no doubt that their war with ISIL is serving regime interests.
“The aim of the attack is the Kurdish existence in general. We don’t think the attacks will be limited to Kobani. They threaten all Kurdish people,” he said.
Xelil, noting that ISIL forces receive volunteer fighters from all over the world, said it was YPG's right to ask Kurds in the region to do the same for them.
“Now we are all open for all Kurds to join, because this is a war that threatens the existence of the Kurdish people,” he said.
So far, only the PKK has responded positively to the YPG, but help has only come in individual cases rather than large scale operations.
As the wider region outside of Kobani is populated by Arabs and Turkmens, the YPG has to be very careful about its movements outside the canton in order not to upset ethnic sensitivities.
“Because of these sensitivities, we need a political solution, but, for example, Kobani is under siege. So if need be, we might use force, although it might cause problems with the inhabitants,” Xelil said.
Much of the surrounding region is under ISIL control, leaving the Turkish border as Kobani's only lifeline. Due to the YPG's affiliation with the PKK, which has launched many attacks on Turkey over decades of clashes, is issue of supporting the YPG is another touchy topic for Turkey.Last Mod: 31 Mart 2014, 17:24