West cautious about directly supporting Syrian Kurdish fighters due to PKK ties: Politician

Ismail Heme

ARA News – Exclusive

Kilis, Turkey – Ismail Heme, member of the Kurdish Yekiti Party and former President of the Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC), said that no military force will be able to defend western Kurdistan (predominantly Kurdish areas in Syria) “unless it gets the political and public Kurdish consensus”, giving Kobane’s situation as an example.

“Our losses should be a example for militarily dominant forces (in reference to the PYD-linked armed forces) in the region to reconsider their policies.” Heme said in an interview with ARA News.

The Democratic Union Party (PYD) is the only political group operating through armed forces of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) and the security force of the Assayish. According to Heme, the PYD tries to exclude other political parties –mainly from the rival KNC– from the decision-center, through imposing its own political agenda in Syria’s Kurdish region.

“If we had a public approved security and military forces, we would get the Public Opinion’s support and assistance in Kobane and other Kurdish areas, similar to the support provided by the West to southern Kurdistan (Iraqi Kurdistan Region), which was attacked by militants of the Islamic State (IS/ ISIS),” Heme said. “The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) received humanitarian, military and political support only because of the unified consensus throughout the region. If we aspire for a similar support in our war against IS in Syria’s Kurdish region, we should first unify our ranks and put the interest of our people at the top of our priorities.”

Whether Kurds lost their desire to fight and defend their land against IS in Syria, Heme said: “Kurds did not lose bravery but they refused to be part of one-party project that controlled the destiny of Western Kurdistan by force (referring to the PYD).”

Regarding the ongoing meetings between representatives of the KNC and the PYD under the sponsorship of the Iraqi Kurdistan’s President Massoud Barzani, intending to plan the formation of a joint military force in Syria’s Kurdish region, Heme said: “No positive consequences will come out of these meetings, especially that the PYD arrested hundreds of Kurdish young men for compulsory service.”

Heme pointed out that the PYD-linked security arm of the Assayish arrested dozens of members of the Kurdish National Council’s parties, “which is a clear message for the KNC that the PYD will not allow the establishment of such a joint force”.

He urged the KNC to boycott the meetings until the PYD releases all detainees.

Regarding the role of the KNC within the Syrian opposition’s National Coalition (SNC), Heme told ARA News that the Kurdish role in the SNC is “fragile” and “largely marginalized”.

“The Syrian National Coalition’s reaction to Kobane’s situation (under siege and attacks by IS militants) is negative and unfortunate. It disappointed us,” Heme added.

Mentioning the International Community’s “clearly slow” support for Kobane, the former President of the KNC pointed out that Turkey pressured the U.S.-led anti-IS international coalition to do so believing that supporting the Kurdish fighters in Kobane would strengthen the role of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) –that turkey still considers as an enemy.

“Many countries consider the YPG as part of the PKK, which is seen as a terrorist organization. So they are cautious to deal with the YPG directly, unlike their attitude towards the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq, where they have a mutual trust.” Heme told ARA News.

He believes that the collapse of the Turkish-PKK peace process will bring in disastrous consequences to Turkey and the region’s countries. “Turkey will lose a lot if its war against the PKK resumes.”

“However, I do not think that the peace process will collapse because of the dispute about Kobane, despite Turkey’s negative attitude concerning Kobane’s crisis,” Heme told ARA News.

“By doing this, Turkey is attempting to blackmail and weaken the Kurdish position and are hoping for more concessions in the peace process,” he concluded.


Interviewing by: Zara Sayda

Source: ARA News

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