Bitter Kurds Opt out of US-Led War on ISIS
All the Kurdish parties of Iraq foregathered on Aug. 29 for a rare emergency rally in the KRG capital of Irbil. It was an extraordinary show of solidarity with their Syrian brethren, the PYD-YPG, whose leaders arrived for the occasion. The Kurds on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border had come to demonstrate their unity and resolve to brave the Turkish invasion of northern Syria and meet head-on President Tayyip Erdogan’s call for Turkish national unity to fight them.
However, the Kurds addressed their most important message to President Barack Obama. Its high points are revealed here in an exclusive DEBKA Weekly report:
1. President Obama can no longer divide his support between Turkey and the Kurds who are now at war. That is no longer acceptable to the Kurdish side.
2. The US must unequivocally announce its continuing support for the Syrian-Kurdish mainstream PYD party and its YPG militia.
3. All Kurdish forces associated with US Special Operations Forces in Syria and Iraq will disengage.
4. All units of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga will withdraw from the joint preparations afoot with US Special Operations forces for launching anti-ISIS offensives against Raqqa and Mosul.
5. The Kurds are giving Washington notice of their withdrawal from all coalition military operations against ISIS.
As DEBKA Weekly 722 revealed last week, therefore, the US has lost the key ground force on which its coalition counted for spearheading the offensives against the Islamic State terrorists at their Syrian and Iraqi strongholds.
6. The PYD (Democratic Union Party), which is the most important Syrian-Kurdish political grouping, has drawn up a constitution for a future autonomous Kurdish state to be established in Syria on lines similar to those governing the autonomous Kurdish republic in northern Iraq.
The Kurdish leadership informs Washington that, in reprisal for the Turkish invasion, the new constitution will be applied henceforth to all Syrian districts with a Kurdish majority and all Kurdish city neighborhoods, such as Aleppo.
This determination is tantamount to expanding Kurdish autonomous territory to areas outside their present enclaves of Hassaka, Kobane and Afrin.
7. The Kurdish constitution will also be imposed in all parts of Syria that the Kurdish fighters capture.
In response to the Kurds’ message to Washington, the Turkish presidential palace spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin confronted the Obama administration on Aug. 30 with a demand “to revise its policy of supporting Kurdish forces.”
President Obama has been given a hard choice between abandoning the Syrian Kurds to their fate and turning his back on Turkey, a NATO ally.