WATCH: ‘Peshmerga vital element of Trump’s anti-IS campaign’
WASHINGTON DC, United States (Kurdistan24) – A US-based Turkish-American political scientist recently said Peshmerga forces in the Kurdistan Region are a “vital” part of the US’ anti-Islamic State (IS) campaign.
Soner Çağaptay, director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, spoke to Kurdistan24 about Kurds’ role in the region.
The Washington Institute director also discussed US President-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy in the Middle East, stating it was primarily aimed at defeating IS.
Çağaptay said Kurdish Peshmerga were a fundamental part of the US’ anti-IS campaign.
“I think the Peshmerga is going to be a vital element of Trump’s anti-IS campaign,” he said.
Çağaptay also explained there were two Kurdish interests in the Middle East, referring to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava).
Speaking of the KRG, the political scientist said the Region’s close economic and security relations with Turkey had made them a progressive part of the Middle East.
“The Iraqi Kurds are a very positive part of the region,” Çağaptay told Kurdistan24.
Moreover, the Washington Institute member discussed the PYD in Rojava and said they hadn’t “chosen a regional friend” to support them like the KRG had.
Çağaptay explained Russia was “playing games” with the PYD and did not fully support them.
“Syrian Kurds are a more complicated group,” he said. “In [Rojava], Russia has been playing a game of using Turkey, the Kurds, and Assad regime against each other.”
Çağaptay added Russia gives the PYD in Rojava “a little bit of what it wants but not everything.”
Editing by Ava Homa
(Rahim Rashidi conducted the interview in Washington, DC)