Kurds May Leave Coalition Raqqa Op if Turkish Attacks Continue - YPG Commander

© REUTERS / Goran TomasevicA Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG) looks at a smoke after an coalition airstrike in Raqqa, Syria June 16, 2017
A Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG) looks at a smoke after an coalition airstrike in Raqqa, Syria June 16, 2017 - Sputnik International
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The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the largest component of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) may leave the coalition operation in Raqqa if Turkish forces continue to attack Kurdish-dominated regions in northern Syria, YPG commander Sipan Hemo said on Friday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Hemo explained that Jaish al-Thuwar, a YPG component, was fighting in Raqqa instead of protecting the Shabha region. Jaish al-Thuwar is the main protection force for the Kurdish-controlled Shabha region, which is between Afrin and Kobani.

"We have shared our issue with the coalition. If the Turkish state continued its occupation attacks against Afrin and Shahba, the Raqqa operation will not continue," ANF news agency quoted Hemo as saying.

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"They have said that ‘if the attacks against us increase, fighting in Raqqa will no longer carry any meaning," he added.

Turkey deployed troops to the Afrin border area in late June, saying it was responding to Kurdish aggression.

Ankara considers the YPG to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is a designated terrorist group in Turkey and the United States.

The SDF launched the operation to reclaim Raqqa on June 6, more than three years after Daesh captured the city. On Monday, US Department of Defense spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis said the SDF was in control of 40 percent of the city.

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