YPG is becoming an “insurgent group” in Syria - U.S. Senator Rubio
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has voiced his concerns that the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) is behaving like an insurgency in Syria, and that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime could reach out to the group to gain Kurdish support, the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Thursday.
“We’re seeing reports now that the YPG has turned into an insurgent organisation; they’re beginning to fight underground. I think we’re going to probably see an increase in Syrian regime outreach to the YPG to get the Kurds on board. This is a problem for Turkey,” said the Republican senator, responding to a question on the status of Kurds in Syria.
Turkey launched a military operation against the YPG and affiliated forces in the northwest Syrian enclave of Afrin in January this year, capturing the city centre in March.
The group is seen by Turkey as the Syrian extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has been outlawed in the country since launching an armed struggle for Kurdish self-rule in the mid-1980s.
The YPG, however, has been a close ally to the United States in Syria, where they worked together in an international coalition against the Islamic State, or ISIS.
Turkish pressure on the territorial gains made by the group during the anti-ISIS campaign has led the group to step up communication with the Assad regime.
Representatives from the Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Syria travelled to Damascus this week for talks with the Assad regime.