US official: Syrian rebels calling American forces “dogs” unacceptable

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Syrian rebels in the northern countryside of Aleppo. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

ALEPPO  The US State Department spokesman John Kirby said that the behavior of some Syrian rebel groups calling US special forces dogs and pigs last Friday in al-Rai is unacceptable and reprehensible. 

Some US Special Forces were temporarily forced to leave al-Rai town in northern Aleppo Governorate after Turkey-backed Syrian rebel groups threatened the American forces, calling for their slaughter. 

“Obviously that kind of rhetoric is not acceptable as part of what should be a coalition designed to go after a common enemy, which is Daesh [ISIS],” he said. “And we certainly wouldn’t condone that kind of bombastic and pugilistic rhetoric against, our forces, engaged in the fight against Daesh.” 

“We all should be focused on the common threat and the common enemy, and that’s Daesh,” Kirby told reporters. 

The State Department spokesman pointed out that the Syrian anti-Assad rebels are not a monolithic group, and some are more extreme than others.

“As I said before, let’s not talk about the opposition as a monolith. It’s not one organization with one worldview or even one perspective and point of view about the fight going on in Syria,” he said. “We have long acknowledged that there are groups that are more moderate than others.”

“We want everybody that’s involved in this effort, whether it’s a nation state in the coalition or it’s groups in Syria that are engaged against Daesh and are not designated by the UN as foreign terrorist organizations,” Kirby stated.

The rebel group of Ahrar al-Sharqiya Union said in a statement, released on 16 September, that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions refused the intervention by US Special Forces, “due to their support for the separatist gangs of the PYD (in reference to the Kurdish forces), which adopts the plan of destroying the unity of the Syrian land,” the group said. 

“This Syrian territory has been liberated from ISIS and PYD [Democratic Union Party] terrorists with the blood of the heroes of the Free Syrian Army, after the betrayal of the United States and the international community to the cause of the Syrian people for years, where the only support has been made was declarations and statements,” the group said. 

YPG veteran Reinas, who protested US vice-presidents comments that Kurds have to withdraw from captured ISIS territory during a Hillary Clinton rally in the beginning of September, told ARA News that Kurds are the only partner of the US.

“If Turkey was really serious about fighting ISIS, they would have been using their own forces instead of using ISIS-like groups under another name,” he said.

“Much of the bulk of these Turkey-backed groups are Salafist Jihadist extremists. We should not be using Diet-ISIS, ISIS-light organizations to fight against ISIS,” he said. 

The US fighter said that in the past America used Jihadists against other groups for their own interest, but that eventually these groups turned against the US. Reinas also called on the US not to repeat its mistakes, referring to “the past support of the US for Jihadists fighting Soviet Forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s.”

“The YPG is our only true friend in Syria,” he told ARA News. “I hope this incident brings the [US] administration to accept this reality.”

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