Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are seen in al-Hawl town near Hasakah after liberating the town from ISIS militants. Photo: ARA News
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KOBANE – In its war against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, the United States will only work with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) not with the Assad regime, US State Department said.
“So we support the SDF as they continue to take land back from ISIL [ISIS]. I’m not going to speak to the Syrian movements. And we’ve actually had this conversation. No person should have to choose between a regime that has targeted as – against ISIL,” US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said on Monday.
The Syrian regime forces entered the Raqqa province for the first time since 2014 last Saturday, and approached the Tabqa dam. Recent reports suggested there is now a race between the Kurdish-led SDF-forces and the Assad regime towards Raqqa.
“Yes. So I’m aware of those reports. I cannot confirm it. For our part, we continue to work with the Syrian Democratic Forces, our partners on the ground in Syria, to retake land from ISIL [ISIS] and further isolate ISIL’s transportation, communications and supply routes into Raqqa to weaken its grip on the city,” Trudeau added.
“We believe the SDF has seen progress in recent months in retaking land from ISIL [ISIS]. Again – and we’ve spoken about this – this is not an easy fight. This is a slow slog. So I’ve seen the reports. I just can’t confirm them now,” she said.
Speaking to ARA News in Kobane, Kurdish politician and TEV-DEM official Ruken Amed said that the United States only backs the SDF forces for two reasons: “There are many ethnic groups inside the SDF and it reflects the Syrian society. Secondly, we are not an occupying force, we just want to defeat ISIS and the local people can administrate their cities. Just look at Tel Abyad, the people are administrating themselves.”
She said it would be different from the regime or Islamist rebels who would bring people from other areas to rule the towns captured from ISIS.
“We don’t seek to extend territory, we fight terrorism, and let people run their own territory,” she added.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg
Source: ARA News