Brits who joined YPG pose threat to country: British think tank
LONDONThe British government urgently needs to prevent British citizens from joining a violent organization with a record of war crimes, a report from a London-based think tank said, referring to the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
A new report from The Henry Jackson Society titled “The Forgotten Foreign Fighters: The PKK in Syria” details how the groups “attract hundreds of foreign fighters, including many Britons.”
According to the think tank, many of those who join the YPG to fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are “unaware of its links to the PKK.”
“While the YPG has been lauded in the West for battling the Islamic State with the U.S.-led Coalition, we report how this organization is a subsidiary for a violent terrorist organization. Many of the foreign fighters are unaware of the link to the PKK – while some revel in it,” the report said, using another name for ISIL.
“Returnees from the YPG/PKK should be screened to assess if they require any further state attention, either from the criminal justice system or social services,” it also said.
Kyle Orton from the Centre for the Response to Radicalization and Terrorism at The Henry Jackson Society, and author of the report, said that “the government needs to act now to prevent Britons falling into this trap.”
“The fact is the PKK and the YPG, are the same entity. Our report sets out the many reasons why foreigners, including Britons, who go to fight for the YPG in Syria. But they need to understand the nature of the organization. Far from battling terrorism, they’re in effect aiding one proscribed terrorist organization overcome another,” he said, adding that for those who “want to come back, comprehensive tests need to be put in place to prevent potentially dangerous individuals within our communities.”