Mar 03 2018

Shia militants in Afrin sent thanks to Russia – Kurdish ex-leader

Former Kurdish-majority Democratic Union Party (PYD) leader Salih Muslim has told Euronews that Shia militants in the Syrian region of Afrin were sent with the help of Russia.

“We have no agreement or direct communication with the regime,” Muslim said.

“Coming to the call to the regime for help, that was entirely the decision of the administration in Afrin.”

Various units had come to the border but they had had little effect so far, Muslim said.

“We did not contact the regime directly for this. All talks so far have taken place via Russia.”

Muslim emphasised that his group were not looking to divide Syria.
“We have never said we would leave Syria or that we would divide up the country. But we see Turkey’s attacks on the north of Syria as a violation of their aforementioned sovereignty.”

He also suggested that Russia, Iran and Syria might have agreed to allow Turkey to carry out its operation in Afrin.

“We do not know what happened between Turkey, Russia, Iran and Damascus,” he said. 

“The Turkish government is ready to come to an agreement with everyone in order to prevent the democratic demands of the Kurds, especially in Syria.”