Russia says Kurds share information on Islamic State

Kurdish members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Aleppo. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

AMUDE – The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said that Moscow is coordinating with Kurdish forces for intelligence. However, Kurds denied any military links to Russia.

“We receive information, including on the ISIS and its aims, from them [Kurdish forces],” Konashenkov, who spoke to journalists on Wednesday, said when asked about the Russian military’s relations with the Syrian Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG). 

The general said that the Kurds were providing extremely valuable information on the operations, which are under way near Raqqa. Moreover, the Russians said they have received reconnaissance information from the so-called “patriotic-minded Syrian opposition”. 

“It [the information] is really valuable and deserves attention. But, I would like to re-emphasize that our experts are using their channels to re-check it. Terrorist targets are attacked only after the confirmation has been received,” Konashenkov said, adding there were no such information exchanges with the Americans. 

According to the general, the Russian military are exchanging information with their American partners and coordinate aviation sorties and air operations. 

However, Talal Silo, spokesperson of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) told ARA News there is no coordination at all with the Russians.

“There is no coordination between us. When Russia is targeting the positions of ISIS, we make progress. There is propaganda against us. They target terrorist groups like Ahrar as-Sham, Nusra, and others, but we have no agreement,” he said. 

“It was a coincidence, that when fighting started between us [Kurdish-led SDF] and Nusra and Ahrar as-Sham, that at the same time Russian airstrikes started airstrikes against them,” Silo said. 

Speaking to ARA News, Dr. Nasser Haji Mansur, an advisor to the SDF forces, said the same. “There is no direct coordination between US and the Russians, when their airstrikes targeted Nusra and other factions we took advantage of it, and advanced.”  

“We want to make coordination with the [US-led] international coalition, not with Russia;  although there were many requests from Russia to make agreements or contacts with us, but we refused this,” he added.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg 

Source: ARA News 

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