ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The spokesperson of the US-led Coalition stated on Thursday that the Coalition would not incorporate Rojava Peshmerga in the battle against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.
“We don't have any plans to incorporate them [Rojava Peshmerga] at this time,” US-led coalition John Dorrian said about the Kurdish Syrian Peshmerga during a press briefing via a teleconference from Baghdad.
“We're working with the Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF] and the Syrian Arab Coalition, and we're open to working with others if everyone will get on the same page and work to defeat ISIS [IS],” he said.
On Nov. 6, 2016, the Kurdish-led SDF launched a military operation to free Raqqa from IS. The offensive is ongoing as the forces continue to advance in the area.
Rojava Peshmerga consists of over 5,000 Kurdish troops that have been trained by the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Peshmerga. They have been fighting IS in the southern part of Kurdistan Region since late 2014.
Due to the tensions between the Kurdish political parties in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), the Rojava Peshmerga forces have been prevented from returning to Syria to fight alongside the other Kurdish fighters against the IS extremist group.
During the press briefing, Dorrian also mentioned that the Coalition is discussing the participation of Turkish forces in battling the jihadist group in Syria.
“At a minimum, we look to minimize conflict in our operations with some of the actors. The Coalition is present. We continue to discuss the possibility of a Turkish role [in the Coalition], and then we will work with the Syrian Democratic Forces who continue to build their force,” the spokesperson added.
He noted that he expects Kurdish forces in Rojava, such as the People’s Protection Units (YPG), to participate in the military operation to liberate Raqqa from IS.
“Again, there are Kurds in the city. There have been Kurds that lived in Raqqa for, you know, a very long time,” Dorrian continued. “And we expect that the demographic makeup of the force that liberates the city will likely reflect the residents of the city, either the present ones or the historic presence within the city. So, we do expect there to be Kurds involved.”
Editing by Ava Homa