05:12 GMT09 March 2021
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    Commenting on reports about the Pentagon considering allocating 300 million more dollars for training the Syrian Democratic Forces amid Turkey's ongoing Afrin military operation, Nuri Mehmud, spokesman for Syria's Kurdish YPG militia, told Sputnik Turkey that the issue was on Washington's table even before Ankara entered Afrin.

    Nuri Mehmud, spokesman for Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), said that the US had earlier informed the public about its allocating budgetary funds for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to ensure stability in Syria and the fight against Daesh.

    "I don't know about the exact amount [but in any case] the issue of allocating American funds for the SDF's needs was raised even before Turkey launched an attack on Afrin," Mehmud said.

    He refused to comment on information published by the Turkish newspaper Haberturk on the creation of 14 camps for training Kurdish fighters in the territory east of the Euphrates with the help of the US. Mehmud cited the "secret nature" of this information.

    He also noted that in Afrin, Kurdish forces do not use the arms supplied to them by the US.

    He explained that the YPG use "the weapons bought on the black market from units of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) which in turn received it from Turkey in [the cities of ] Azaz, al-Bab, Idlib and Jarabulus."

    "With these weapons we are defending ourselves from the attacks of Turkey and terrorist groups in Afrin," Mehmud said.

    Asked whether the US's budget plan related to the Kurds contributes to the formation of an independent YPG state, Mehmud said that the SDF jointly with the US and the coalition act within the framework of an agreement aimed at achieving stability in Syria.

    "Neither we nor the forces that work together with us are aimed at splitting Syria," he pointed out.

    Earlier, he told Sputnik that the Kurdish forces "have no intention of attacking government forces" and that they are "fighting for the stability of Syria." According to him, the YPG currently controls 40 percent of the territory of Syria.

    On January 20, the Turkish military launched Operation Olive Branch against Kurdish YPG forces, which Ankara believes have links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), blacklisted by Turkey as a terrorist organization. Ankara claimed that in three weeks of fighting, Turkish forces and their allies have killed 1,369 "terrorists."

    Damascus has condemned the operation as "treacherous aggression" and an assault on the country's sovereignty. Russia, for its part, urges all parties to show restraint and to respect Syria's territorial integrity.

    Ankara had repeatedly threatened to launch an operation in northern Syria's Afrin region, following the US announcement of its decision to start training a border protection force comprising the US-backed SDF, affiliated with the YPG.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


    US to Take Back Heavy Arms Supplied to Kurdish YPG - Reports
    Erdogan Vows to Eliminate PKK, YPG, PYD, Urges US to Refrain From Provocations
    Olive Branch: Turkey Preparing Ground Offensive Against YPG in Syria - Reports
    stability, funds, fighters, territory, attack, arms, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Daesh, Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Syria, US
    Community standardsDiscussion