PYD ‘promised’ US to not give arms to PKK

PYD ‘promised’ US to not give arms to PKK

Verda Özer ARBIL
PYD ‘promised’ US to not give arms to PKK

The US aid will not be transferred to the PKK, vows the PYD co-leader.

The Democratic Union Party (PYD) has promised that arms sent by the United States to fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) will definitely not be transferred to the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), PYD co-leader Salih Muslim has told the Hürriyet Daily News.

“We have given a guarantee to the U.S. about not sending the arms to the PKK or using them against Turkey,” Muslim said, adding that the U.S. could give arms to the PYD again if required.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said on Oct. 25 that the PYD had initially opposed the plan for Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces to join the fight against ISIL in Kobane for “fear of their scheme being disrupted.” However, Muslim strongly refuted such claims.

“We have never been against cooperation between the Peshmerga and Kurds. Although some sensitive issues had arisen between these groups earlier, ISIL now pushes Kurds to come together, which is very good,” he said.

“We are also not against improving relations between Kurds and Turkey. We only wish that Turkey was with us against ISIL. If Turkey had been, everything would have been different for Turkey, for us, and even for all people in the Middle East,” Muslim added.

He noted that the Peshmerga forces had "made a difference" in Kobane and emphasized that the PYD also wants to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad removed from his position.  

“We are the ones who want al-Assad to leave the most. We are on the same page as Turkey about this. Turkey, however, wants to achieve this goal by supporting the Salafi groups, which we are against,” Muslim said, stressing that the PYD "doesn’t want to become enemies with Turkey."

“We are ready to serve in all capacities as long as Turkey recognizes our existence and our identity,” he said, adding that the PYD could even become a mediator between the Turkish government and the PKK.