YPG reportedly prepares to fight DAESH in Syria's Raqqa

Pentagon spokesman says US provided Syrian rebels with ammunition to fight DAESH in Syrian city of Raqqa

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

YPG forces based in Syria-Turkey border

Updated Nov 30, 2015

YPG, the armed wing of PYD, is reportedly preparing for an anti-DAESH US-backed operation in the Syrian northern province of Raqqa in the coming weeks, after Pentagon spokesman announced it is providing the YPG with huge amounts of ammunition.

The head of the YPG Sipan Hamo told the London based al Hayat newspaper that the militia is making contacts with the US-led coalition to decide on the "zero hour" for the operation.

The Pentagon spokesman announced on Monday that they had dropped nearly 50 tons of ammunition on Sunday into the Hasakah province for Syrian Arab rebel groups in preparation to fight against DAESH in its main bastion located in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, which DAESH announced as its capital for their self-proclaimed state in 2014.

Following the allegations that US has equipped the YPG with weaponry, US State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said: “Well, we consider them (YPG) a very effective fighting force against ISIL (DAESH ), and as such, we’ve supported them with air strikes and other supplies, but not ammunition.”

However, a commander of the Kurdish YPG militia, Polat Can, had contradicted with the US statements in an interview with McClatchy, and said “(the US) started dropping arms in Rojava early this morning.”

The weapons dropped in Rojava included assault rifles, mortars and ammunition – but no TOW anti-tank missiles nor anti-aircraft weapons were provided, Can added.

Early on Monday, YPG spokesman Polat Can announced on his Twitter account that the Syrian Democratic Forces - which includes the Arab Coalition Jaysh al Thuwwar, the Burkan al Firat Operations Center, the Al Sanadid Forces and the Brigade Groups of Al Jazeera- along with the Assyrian Military Council, the YPG and the YPJ (the YPG’s female wing) - will fight DAESH within the upcoming weeks.

In January 2015, the DAESH -held border town of Kobani was captured by the YPG - backed by US-led coalition air strikes - after a siege against ISIS that lasted for four months.

The loss of Kobani by DAESH , also known as Ayn al Arab, was seen as a significant defeat considering the amount of extensive military resources the group had invested to capture the isolated town on the border with Turkey.

In June 2015, the PYD also captured the Syrian-Turkish border town of Tal Abyad from DAESH . Allowing the YPG to effectively control some 400 kilometres along the Turkish border.

Moreover, the YPG now controls the border of Syria’s northeastern corner to the town of Jarabulus, which is under DAESH control.

DAESH currently holds control over large swathes of territory, stretching eastward from the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, to western Iraq.

However with Russia supporting Assad and US backing fighting groups on ground, the war in Syria turned into more of a global war than a civil war.

The four-year-long war has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people, while it displaced half of the pre-war 22 million population of the country internally and in the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan. At least 350,000 refugees have sought asylum in the European countries since the war in Syria began.

US changes Syrian policy

US President Barack Obama has admitted Washington’s “train-and-equip” programme to train moderate rebel groups in Syria to fight DAESH terrorists was a failure.

According to the New York Times, after announcing the failure of the "train-and-equip" programme, Obama announced there would be a new approach in Syria. 

Instead, the US will depend on Arab fighters, whose commanders are under the supervision of US forces, along with “Kurdish fighters who are more battle-tested and whose loyalties Washington can count on.”

All of the Jaysh al Thuwwar (“Army of Rebels”) - which was part of the US training programme - Al Sanadid, Al Jazeera brigades, Burkan al Firat, and the Assyrian Military Forces had earlier joined the YPG in its battles against DAESH either in Kobane, Afrin or in Tal Abyad.

TRTWorld and agencies