Washington reprimands SDF allies for displays of loyalty to the PKK

Jun 22, 2021

Washington has reportedly reprimanded its Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) allies in northeast Syria for holding up banners depicting the leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, during rallies in the SDF-controlled area.

According to local sources, the deputy US envoy to Syria, David Brownstein, expressed his government's anger at the increasing manifestations of raising the flags of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and pictures of its leader, in the SDF-controlled areas in northeastern Syria.
It should be noted that the PKK-affiliated militia acquired its current SDF name in a US military ‘rebranding’ exercise in 2017 carried out specifically to distance the group from the PKK, which is classified as a terrorist group by Washington as well as Turkey and several European nations; before this, it had been known as the YPG.

According to the Syria News agency, the deputy envoy conveyed a strongly worded message from the US administration to Mazloum Abdi, the commander of the SDF militia, reprimanding its show of support for the PKK leader.

Washington has warned the SDF against the PKK's continued dominance of the centers of power and the adoption of the terrorist organization’s policies, although it’s turned a blind eye to the fact that the PKK controls the decisions and policies of the SDF, which is supported by the US in its areas of control in northeastern Syria.

The militia practices the most severe violations, including torture and forced conscription (including of children), against the people in the areas under its control in northeastern Syria, in addition to looting the resources in the region which has significant oil and gas resources, while local people struggle in increasingly poverty-stricken conditions. The SDF targets Kurdish dissidents and groups, as well as Arabs, who are often arrested and imprisoned on fabricated charges of ISIS affiliation; this is doubly grotesque for those persecuted by ISIS prior to the YPG/SDF “liberation”, as well as by Assad’s regime. The SDF also works with the regime, which has had a longstanding relationship with the PKK, for whom Hafez al Assad supplied training camps. In 2012, his son Bashar handed over control of northern Syria to the YPG in order to stymie Turkey’s support for the Syrian revolution.