Senior Kurdish military official: We will defeat ISIS and link all Rojava’s cantons

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Kurdish commander Ismet Sheikh speaking to the mourners in Kobane. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

KOBANE – In a funeral ceremony for four Kurdish fighters killed in the anti-ISIS operation for Manbij on Thursday, commander of the Kobane defence force Ismet Sheikh promised the Kurds that they will soon unite the Kurdish administrations of northern Syria [Rojava] into one federal region.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched an operation to capture Manbij from the extremist Islamic State group (ISIS). “We went to liberate all the people of this region from ISIS and the mercenary groups. We sacrifice our martyrs, and we won’t be sad, more martyrs will be sacrificed, because the price of freedom is blood and martyrs,” he told to the mourning public.

“Today we are in Manbij, but tomorrow we will be in Efrin [also known as Afrin], and we will link all the three cantons [Jazira, Kobane and Afrin],” he said. “Everybody should know that the blood of the martyrs won’t be priceless.”

“We don’t recognize the borders, and we will liberate our people from terrorism,” the Kurdish commander said, calling on all Kurds to join the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ)–members of the SDF.

“We ask all the Syrian people to back the SDF after what they have achieved on the ground, and they should join the SDF. They represent the Syrian people on the ground, not those people who sit in hotels in Istanbul and Europe, we are now going forward,” he said.

The defence official also expressed his support for the fight of Kurds in Turkey against the Turkish government, after Turkey’s Kurds assisted their peers in Kobane against ISIS.

During the funeral ceremony, the brother of Aram Can who died on 2 June in the Manbij operation said his brother was not just a fighter. “He was also part of the media struggle against the terror propaganda. Yesterday, I wanted to take food to him, and they told me he was martyred,” he said. “Long live the resistance of the YPG.” 

On Thursday, people of Kobane buried four fighters who were killed during the Manbij operation. Two of the fighters were Kurds from Turkey, one a Kurd from Iran, and one a Kurd from Kobane.

In the meantime, the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that the SDF-led operation in Manbij is mainly fought by Arabs. He said the forces include 2,500 Syrian Arab fighters, and only 450 members of the YPG.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg 

Source: ARA News 

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