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US-led Coalition alleged training to Kurdish forces in NE Syria angers Ankara

  2021-07-23  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Fighters from a new border security force under the command of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) hold their weapons during a graduation ceremony in Hasakah, northeastern Syria, Jan. 20, 2018. - REUTERS/Rodi Said
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – The US-led global coalition against Islamic State (ISIS) provided a three-month military training to the Kurdish forces in al-Hasakah in northeastern Syria, the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency said on Thusrday (July 22). 

The training took place on Mount Abdulaziz, where 400 members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were trained on how to use light, medium, and heavy weapons and methods of raiding and infiltrating villages, the Turkish state media said.

SDF Commander Mazloum Abdul attended the ceremony. However, the Turkish state media did not provide a time span for the training. 

The Coalition and SDF officials are yet to comment on the training. 

The SDF is a multi-ethnic Kurdish-led force founded in 2014 that fought against the ISIS militants, and recaptured the ISIS-controlled territories with the backing of the US-led Coalition. The People’ Protection Units (YPG) makes up the backbone of the SDF. 

Turkey accuses the YPG of links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 

The PKK has launched a decades-old insurgency against the Turkish authorities, calling for Kurds’ cultural rights in Turkey and its Kurdish-predominantly southeast. 

The French force, part of the anti-ISIS coalition, also provided artillery training to the Kurdish forces, according to Anadolu Agency. 

Ankara, US’s NATO ally, is at loggerheads with the US as latter provides military assistance to the Kurdish forces.

Despite its territorial defeat in Syria in 2019, the ISIS militants are still active through its sleeper cells in northeast of Syria, where it is known as Rojava, especially in Deir Ezzor countryside bordering Iraq.

Deir Ezzor is partly run by the Syrian regime. 

The Kurdish security forces carry out intermittent operations in Hasakah and Deir Ezzor provinces  to purge ISIS sleeper cells, which the latest was on Wednesday. 

On Wednesday, the SDF counter-terrorism units dismantled a "dangerous terrorist" cell affiliated with ISIS in Khirbet al-Jamous village, east of al-Hasakah, the SDF said in a statement. 

The operation, in coordination with the local security forces known as Asayish, targeted a house that was used by the ISIS militants to hide. Among them are those responsible for committing assassinations against civilians and the security and military forces, the SDF reported.

Two ISIS militants were killed in a US-led Coalition airstrike and two otherss were arrested by the security forces, as well as a child was found dead who was being held as captive by the ISIS militants.

“Our forces will open an investigation into the detained mercenaries to find out why the child was there and the circumstances that led to his death,” the SDF added. 

Colonel Wayne Marotto, the Spokesperson for the US-led Coalition Combined Joint Force-Operation Inherent Resolve confirmed the operation. 

“The SDF spokesman has provided an update to #SDF raid on a Daesh hideout on July 21, 2021. SDF reports that 2 Daesh gang members were KIA & 2 were arrested. The SDF requested air support after finding & removing a wounded child from the Daesh hideout,” Marotto said. 

(Zhyan English)