Kurdish fighters of the YPG. Photo: Jinda Ibrahim/ARA News
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AMUDE – The United States on Sunday clearly stated that they do not support the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Aleppo province, where there have been clashes between the Kurds and rebel groups. The US called on the Kurds and FSA rebels to stop fighting each other.
“While we haven’t provided any support for the Kurds in Afrin [in Aleppo province], we do continue to express publicly and privately our serious concerns when the YPG and Syrian forces – opposition forces come into conflict west of the Euphrates,” said Mark C. Toner, the Deputy Spokesperson of the US State Department.
Dr. Nasser Haji Mansur, a political advisor to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) also confirmed this in an interview with ARA News. “You can practically see this. The areas which the US air strikes cover, do not cover Efrin [Afrin],” he added.
The US spokesperson also condemned the parading of rebel bodies in the city of Afrin. “No, we’ve seen the video, obviously, and while we can’t authenticate it 100 percent, we, without hesitation, strongly condemn this kind of behavior that it depicts, and believe that it only serves to heighten tensions between those groups in western Syria,” Toner said.
“This fighting has to stop. It’s destabilizing, to say the least; it’s counterproductive, and I’ll leave it there,” he stated.
The General Command of the People’s Protection Forces (YPG) –leading member of SDF– has also condemned the incident and promised an investigation last Friday.
“This act doesn’t represent our morals, and revolutionary ethics. The ones who carried out this act will be held accountable and we assure all that we will not allow such acts to happen again,” the YPG said.
Kurdish leaders condemn display of rebel bodies in Afrin by SDF fighters
Senior Kurdish leaders and activists on Thursday condemned the parading of 40 to 50 rebel bodies in the Kurdish city of Efrin (Afrin) Thursday afternoon who were killed in a failed attack on positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Tal Rifaat town in the Aleppo province.
According to the Jaysh Thuwaar, a member of the SDF, a coalition of rebel groups including Sultan Murad Brigade, the Grandsons of Saladin brigade, and Nusra, stopped their attack on the SDF and withdrew after at least 53 of them were killed, and hundreds of injured were sent to the hospitals in the city of Azaz.
“Rebels launched an attack on Tal Rifaat yesterday. The attack failed because of the explosion of an ammunition truck. Over 40 fighters died,” Abdurahman Hark, a former spokesperson for the Islamic Army said on Twitter, who called the SDF fighters ‘pigs’.
In the meantime, Kurdish leader and the co-chair of the Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM) Aldar Xelil said: “The show of bodies of the enemies in such a way in front of the civilians in the streets, as what happened in Efrin today, is disgusting and contrary to our values of humanity.”
“We are not those who terrorize their enemies in such a shameful way. These ways are closer to the traditions of Daash [ISIS], the al-Baath-regime, or a military dictatorship. We feel very ashamed of it,” Xelil said.
Also senior officials of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) condemned the incident.
“What happened in Efrin cannot represent our principles and morals and we cannot slip into such a behavior, we have grown up with values,” Sharvan Darwish, a spokesperson of the Syrian Democratic Forces said in a statement, emphasizing that the SDF is following ethics of international laws and values of humanity.
Syrian Kurdish activists and journalists were shocked and condemned the event.
Speaking to ARA News, Kurdish activist Nidal Hassan said: “At 14.00pm in the afternoon, Efrin saw the arrival of a truck with the bodies of opposition fighters that attacked SDF forces the last two days. The dead bodies were displayed in the streets of the city in a humiliating way to humanity.”
“I think this is a big mistake, and what happened is not a reflection of Efrin and the culture of Kurds,” he added.
The parade of killed Syrian rebel fighters comes after more than 85 civilians were killed by rebel attacks on the Kurdish neighbourhood of Sheikh Maqsoud in the city of Aleppo since 16 February. Meanwhile, attacks by rebel groups on the neighbourhood continue.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg
Source: ARA News