The Kurds in Syria threaten to stop their fight against the rebels of Islamic State (IS) if they have to deploy their troops back to the Turkish border. That is what Ilham Ahmad, a political leader of the Kurds in Syria, said today in the French capital Paris.
US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that the US is withdrawing from Syria. The US is at the head of an international coalition fighting against the terrorist IS militias in Syria. Their main ally in the country are the Kurdish YPG militias, who are leading the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) there.
The Kurdish fighters were for a long time one of the few reliable ground troops in Syria for the West. “The withdrawal will affect the efforts to completely defeat Islamic State,” the SDF said yesterday. Ilham Ahmad is in Paris asking for support for the fight of the Kurds. France, like Great Britain, keeps its troops in Syria for the time being. According to Paris and London, the fight against IS has not yet been over.
After a withdrawal of the American troops, the way is cleared for a new military offensive of Turkey. The government in Ankara has for some time been threatening a new intervention against the YPG. Turkey regards the YPG as a branch of the banned Kurdish Labour Party PKK and thus an enemy.
Turkey welcomes the decision of Washington to withdraw its troops from Syria “with some caution”. Erdogan assured today during a speech in Istanbul that his country will do its best to “eliminate” the Kurdish militias and “what remains of IS” in northern Syria and “clean up” the region.
“Fighting against terrorism will be difficult, because we may be forced to withdraw from the front line against IS to the Turkish border. We have to focus on a possible attack by Turkey”, Ahmad emphasized in Paris.
Turkey has previously battled against YPG and IS in Syria and is threatening to fight again against the Kurds in Syria. The Kurds hope that Paris will exert pressure on Ankara to stop these threats. “We ask for diplomatic support from the French,” says Ahmad. “We also ask that the French troops continue their task in the region until a political solution is found.”