World Bulletin / News Desk
The PKK/PYD, the Syrian branch of the PKK, which has waged war against Turkey for more than 30 years, was among the U.S.-backed SDF to take Raqqah from ISIL earlier this week.
The taking of the eastern city -- considered ISIL’s de facto capital -- was marked by the unfurling of a huge banner bearing Ocalan’s image in the main square.
Questioned about “a victory enabled by the U.S. that is dedicated to a terrorist group”, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White declined to comment directly.
“We work with the SDF,” she told a news conference. “And we work to help them focus on fighting ISIS [ISIL]. That is our sole responsibility. That's our sole commitment. And we'll continue to work by, with and through the SDF to ensure that we defeat ISIS.”
The U.S. has supported the SDF, which consists of the PKK/PYD and other groups, in fighting ISIL in Syria but has largely ignored its links to the PKK, which the U.S., EU and Turkey list as a terrorist group.
In a declaration of victory in Raqqah, the PKK/PYD also released a video dedicating the triumph to Ocalan, who founded the PKK in 1978. The head terrorist was jailed for treason in Turkey in 1999.
Since the PKK launched its terror campaign in Turkey in 1984, tens of thousands have been killed.