Kur­dish PYD leader hails the role of Pesh­merga in Kobani

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Al­lied Kur­dish and Syr­ian Free Army forces are con­tin­u­ing to ad­vance against Is­lamic State mil­i­tants in and around the be­sieged bor­der city of Kobani, Kur­dish Demo­cratic Union Party (PYD) leader Saleh Mus­lim said.

Mus­lim hailed the brav­ery of Kur­dish Peo­ple’s Pro­tec­tion Units (YPG) fight­ers, backed by Pesh­merga forces, in the fight, adding that the Kur­dish forces are mak­ing “slow but steady” progress against the Is­lamist mil­i­tants who are plant­ing mines and bombs to cover their re­treat from cer­tain ar­eas.

Around 150 Pesh­merga fight­ers re­in­forced YPG units in the bor­der city last week, bring­ing with them much needed heavy weapons and am­mu­ni­tion. This was the first time that Turkey al­lowed ground troops from out­side Syria to pro­vide mil­i­tary as­sis­tance to the Syr­ian Kurds.

The PYD leader said that Kur­dish Pesh­merga forces have had an “ef­fec­tive” role in the bat­tle, adding that the so­phis­ti­cated arms that they are us­ing have al­lowed them to tar­get tanks and ar­moured ve­hi­cles from long range, chang­ing the mil­i­tary bal­ance on the ground in the city.

He added that more Kur­dish Pesh­merga forces could en­ter the bat­tle in the com­ing days and weeks. “We are not talk­ing about spe­cific num­bers; it de­pends on what is re­quired. The mil­i­tary lead­er­ship is dis­cussing this is­sue freely on the ba­sis that there are now no po­lit­i­cal re­stric­tions,” Mus­lim said.

How­ever the Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal leader is­sued an im­plicit crit­i­cism of Free Syr­ian Army (FSA) in­volve­ment in the bat­tle for Kobani, say­ing that “FSA units that en­tered [Kobani] re­cently quickly took the decision to re­treat be­cause of the dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances of the bat­tle and their in­abil­ity to en­dure.”

But Salih Mus­lim de­nied that there were any prob­lems be­tween the FSA and YPG units, say­ing that the is­sue was based on dis­agree­ments among the var­i­ous FSA units them­selves over bat­tle plans and their co­or­di­na­tion.

The PYD leader also praised the “ef­fec­tive” na­ture of air strikes by in- ter­na­tional forces on ISIS po­si­tions, specif­i­cally prais­ing the in­volve­ment of Arab air forces in­volved in the anti-ISIS al­liance, say­ing that this “con­firms the Arab-Kur­dish brother­hood.”

His com­ments came on the same day that Iraqi For­eign Min­is­ter Ibrahim Al-Jaa­fari said Bagh­dad would not ac­cept any for­eign mil­i­tary per­son­nel on Iraqi soil, but would ac­cept train­ing from abroad of the Iraqi forces.

Speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence in Ankara on Wed­nes­day Jaa­fari wel­comed Turkey’s of­fer to train and equip units of the Iraqi mil­i­tary and po­lice forces in the fight against the ISIS.

Salih Mus­lim, PYD leader, hails Pesh­marga role in Kobane in the fight against ISIS.

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