'US repeating mistakes of Afghanistan in Syria'

Supporting PYD against ISIL similar to misguided support given to al-Qaeda in 1980s, Kurdish politician Siamend Hajo says

'US repeating mistakes of Afghanistan in Syria'

World Bulletin / News Desk

The U.S. support given to the PYD extremist organization in Syria is similar to its misguided support of the al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, Kurdish Syrian politician Siamend Hajo has warned.

In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency Wednesday, Siamend Hajo, the president of the Kurdish Future Movement in Syria, called on the U.S. administration to reassess its support for the extremist PYD, and support the moderate opposition forces instead.

"The U.S. is repeating its mistake with the al-Qaeda, now by supporting the PYD in Syria," he said.

"In the 1980s, the Americans had supported the al-Qaeda in Afghanistan against the Russian invasion. Now they are supporting the PYD and PKK in Syria against ISIL. They are making the same mistake."

Hajo said the PYD and PKK were identical organizations, and the leading members of the PYD/PKK had long been under the influence of the Syrian regime and its intelligence organization.

"In the past, PKK’s headquarters were in the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon, which was controlled by the Syrian intelligence. They were trained there to fight against Turkey.

"Today the majority of the PYD executives are the PKK members who were trained by the Syrian intelligence," he said.

The U.S. has long listed the PKK as a extremist organization, which is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands in Turkey, in a decades-old armed campaign for an independent state.

The PKK’s offshoot in Syria, the PYD, however, is seen by the Washington administration as a useful partner in Syria, being one of the best fighting-forces against ISIL.

According to Hajo, the U.S. administration’s reliance on PYD in the fight against ISIL is a policy which not only involves great risks, but also contradicts the U.S. goal to ensure a democratic transition in Syria.

"We believe that the PYD is acting against the interests of the U.S. in the long run," he said.

"The PYD and the Assad regime apparently have a deal on a division of labor to purge all the opponents. The Assad regime has deliberately left the control of the northern region to the PYD, and they are carrying out a major clampdown on groups that are opposing them and the regime," he added.

Hajo accused the PYD of resorting to anti-democratic and repressive methods, such as torture, unsolved disappearances and killings, and recruitment of child soldiers in Kurdish-populated northern areas controlled by the extremist group.

He said tens and thousands of Kurds had to leave the region due to these repressive practices.

"When we meet U.S. officials we tell them that if they are really sincere about a democratic transition in Syria, they cannot support a group like the PYD which is completely ignoring democratic freedoms and trying to establish its own dictatorship," he said.

Syrian Kurds are among the major ethnic groups of the war-torn country, with an estimated pre-war population of 2.5 million.

More than a million Kurds left the country in the last five years, according to the estimates of the Berlin-based European Center for Kurdish Studies.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests -- which erupted as part of the "Arab Spring" uprisings -- with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-battered country, according to the UN.

Last Mod: 10 Kasım 2016, 16:30
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