Ukraine’s military intelligence was alleged by Moscow on Friday, April 21, of hiring Kurdish mercenaries in Syria and arming them to carry out drone and other attacks on Russian military facilities in the country. For opening this Middle East front against its foe, Ukraine is said to have been hiring officers and fighters from among the Syrian Democratic Army. The SDF was established by the United States for the dual purpose of battling ISIS bands invading the Kurdish regions of northeastern Syria and defending those regions from Assad regime domination.
According to the Russians, Kyiv’s scheme was the second revelation to surface in the recently leaked Pentagon documents. They are said to have specifically disclosed that SDF leaders had discussed the possibility of taking delivery of supplies of air defense weapons from Ukraine while also planning ways to conceal their object of attacking Russian targets. According to Moscow, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky backed the scheme in person.
No comment on this report has been forthcoming from Washington. The only response came from the SDF which flatly denied assuming any role in the Ukraine-Russian conflict. Making the SDF Kurds complicit in a Ukraine plot against Russian troops in Syria is clearly aimed at stigmatizing the American-sponsored Kurdish force.
DEBKAfile’s sources find the Russian allegation coming a week after steps for healing Syria’s ties with the Arab world led to a pivotal visit to Damascus by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan to discuss President Bashar Assad’s invitation to the coming Arab summit, so ending years of ostracization.
Moscow’s claim also coincides with a complicated diplomatic initiative set in motion by French President Emmanuel Macron. Talks are taking place between high officials of the Elysee and the Chinese government for launching Russian-Ukraine talks this summer for ending their conflict – along with a second track on terms for China to withdraw its threat to Taiwan.