Kurdish fighters from the YPG and YPJ bidding farewell to a comrade killed during clashes with jihadists in Aleppo countryside. Photo: ARA News
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QAMISHLO – The US-led coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS) is concerned about the relations between the Kurds and Russia in Syria, but thinks that relations between the West and the Kurds are stronger.
“Sure there’s concern, but I don’t believe that interests of the YPG [Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units] align with Russian interests,” US-led coalition’s spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said.
“We know that they interact, but we believe that at the end of the day they won’t be comfortable getting in bed with the Russians,” he added.
The Russian Defence Ministry has recently said that the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) share security information with the Russians.
On 28 April, the YPG exchanged dead bodies of jihadis with the Islamic State for the body of a Russian officer, who was killed earlier in Tadmur [Palmyra], and returned it to the Russian authorities.
Speaking to ARA News, Nasser Haji Mansur, an advisor to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said there is no direct contact between the Kurds and the Russians.
“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,” he said.
“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