ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) - “I yearn for a glimpse of Rojava and to join the YPG to defend our homes and lands,” a Syrian Kurdish soldier fighting with the Peshmerga forces battalion known as "Rojava Peshmerga" told Kurdistan24 on Friday.
In a modest abode near the Kurdistan Region's capital city of Erbil where a group of Peshmerga is having a warrior’s rest, Orhan Ati, a Rojava Peshmerga soldier said, “I don’t see any difference between fighting here [Kurdistan Region] or in Rojava [Syrian Kurdistan]; both of these areas are Kurdish lands, and we are fighting the same enemy [IS].”
Rojava Peshmerga forces are mostly dissident Kurdish soldiers who fled the Syrian Army in the early days of the Syrian civil war and received additional military training in the Kurdistan Region.
“At the front[s], we fight for Kurdistan, and when we rest, we sing for Kurdistan,” Ati said.
Nuweran Karo, a Rojava Peshmerga officer, said, “Our YPG comrades in Rojava are fighting fiercely, but [ultimately] they cannot withstand on their own.”
“In the battle of Kobani last year, it was a great initiative when Peshmerga forces [from the Kurdistan Region] entered the city through Turkey and joined YPG forces,” Karo said, pointing out that the recent Islamic State (IS) attacks on Tal Abyad additionally proves that YPG needs support from Rojava Peshmerga forces.
However, Karo noted that as the battle against IS continues to rage, both Peshmerga and YPG are the most powerful ground troops stemming the militants' tide.
Regarding the reason preventing Rojava Peshmerga from joining YPG, Subhi Batal, a Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga Colonel told Kurdistan24 in a previous interview, "Our main duty is to fight Da'esh [IS] in Rojava, but unfortunately, some political rifts between Syrian Kurdish political parties prevent us from taking part in the fighting.”
YPG or People's Protection Units controls most of Rojava presently and is the armed wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) that is ideologically linked to the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Reporting by Hisham Arafat
Editing by Benjamin Kweskin and Karzan Sulaivany
(Zardasht Hami contributed to this report from Erbil)