All groups in Syria with chemical weapons should be targeted: PYD co-leader

Salih Muslim, PYD co-leader.

The co-leader of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Salih Muslim, has said that he hopes the targeting of the Ash Sha’irat airfield in Homs by US missile strikes will have positive effects on reaching a political solution in Syria.

Speaking to Voice of America from Brussels, Muslim said the strikes may force parties to realise that there is no military solution to the six-year war in Syria.

“We believe that this attack must yield positive results since the parties who did not believe in a political solution may reconsider and see that there is no military solution,” Muslim argued, adding that the US had been “forced” to take the action in an environment where no other options were left.

Referring to jihadist and rebel groups, the leader of the largest party in the country’s Kurdish-led autonomous north also added that all parties carrying and using chemical weapons in Syria needed to be punished.

“We hope that the United States will not confine itself to punishing the Syrian regime alone, because there are a lot of chemical weapons in Syria and others parties have also used it, in Sheikh Maqsoud, in Rojava [Syrian Kurdistan], and Raqqa.”

The US strikes came following a suspected chemical attack on Tuesday in rebel-held Idlib’s Khan Sheikhoun district, killing at least 82 people including a dozen children and injuring 600. The Syrian government has denied responsibility.