SDF not present in anti-ISIL coalition meeting: US official
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella group overwhelmingly made up of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), has not attended any meeting in Washington of the international coalition to fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a U.S. official told the Hürriyet Daily News on July 12.
“The SDF, a critical partner force in the fight against ISIS, has not attended any of the coalition meetings in the past and will not attend this week’s meetings,” the U.S. official stated.
Representatives from 72 countries making up the anti-ISIL coalition met in Washington between July 10-13 under the leadership of U.S. Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk to revise the state of fight against the jihadists in Syria and Iraq. The meetings came as the Mosul operation was successfully completed and the U.S. and YPG forces intensified the Raqqa operation.
Turkey rejected the participation of the SDF to the meeting, although the U.S. regards the group as a critical partner in the anti-ISIL fight.
Turkey and the U.S. have long been at odds over Washington’s decision to partner with the YPG, which Ankara considers a terror organization. The U.S. has sought to provide assurances that weapons delivered to the YPG will be taken back at the end of the campaign against ISIL.