Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) spokeswoman, Nesrin Abdullah, has said that the group’s forces will withdraw from the operation to capture the Islamic State’s stronghold, Raqqa, if the US doesn’t take concrete action against Turkish airstrikes targeting Kurdish forces in Syria.
“The is unacceptable in international law. If the USA or coalition or the US [State Dept.] spokesperson can only say, ‘We are concerned or we are unhappy’ [about Turkey’s airstrikes] then we will not accept this. If this is the reaction, we do not accept it. It means they accept what was done to us,” Abdullah told Sputnik Turkish on Wednesday.
The spokeswoman for the all female YPJ, which is part of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a leading force in the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces that has encircled Raqqa, went on to say that unless the US gave a concrete response they would withdraw from the operation.
“Until now we have been in a joint struggle with the coalition against ISIS [IS] terror. We are still involved in that struggle. [But] our people are expecting a response from us on why the coalition is not showing Turkey a concrete reaction. If the coalition does not show a concrete reaction then we will withdraw our forces from Raqqa. They [coalition] need to convince our people. We are not anyone’s stick to beat their enemies with.”
Abdullah concluded by saying that Turkey as a NATO member had carried out the airstrikes and that the lack of a response meant that NATO approved the attack.
“If a practical and verbal reaction is not shown we will re-evaluate and decide what to do.”
12 YPJ and 8 YPG members were killed in at least 18 airstrikes targeting a media centre and headquarters near Mount Karachok in Derik, northeastern Syria on Tuesday morning.