Kurdish leader denied visa to US despite military support

Democratic Union Party (PYD) co-leader Salih Muslim.

Co-leader of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), whose military wing is part of the US-led operation to push the Islamic State (IS) out of Raqqa, has once again been denied a visa to the United States.

Salih Muslim had his visa application rejected two months ago despite US support for the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the PYD’s military wing.

US President Donald Trump authorised the Pentagon to provide the YPG with heavy weapons and armored vehicles earlier this month.

Salih Muslim was invited to speak at “The Other Face of Kurdistan” conference on 30 May at the National Press Club in Washington DC. The Kurdish leader said via teleconference that his visa application had been rejected.

“We are just waiting for a strong man to invite me directly,” the PYD leader explained. “So it’s a difficult situation.”

Muslim’s visa application was also rejected during the Barack Obama administration in 2015.