US soldiers attend military ceremony of YPG fighters joining SDF in Syria
DİYARBAKIR – Doğan News AgencyA number of U.S. soldiers participated in a military ceremony of Syrian Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) militants joining the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Syria, images have revealed.
Ankara considers the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the YPG, as “terrorist” groups linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and has long pressed Washington to stop its alliance with the group in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
According to reports on Kurdish websites, around 250 female YPG militants joined the SDF ranks in a military ceremony held in the Hasakah province on May 5 after completing their training in the Karaçok province, which also houses the Syrian Kurdish force’s command center.
The military ceremony saw the participation of U.S. soldiers who stood behind the SDF commanders and watched the ceremony.
Turkish warplanes had conducted airstrikes in the Karaçok province and Mt. Sinjar in Iraq in late April, targeting the PKK, PYD and YPG positions there.
The Turkish military said the air strikes, which local governments as well as the U.S. and Russia were notified about in advance, were intended to prevent the PKK from sending terrorists, arms, ammunition, and explosives to Turkey.
In the wake of the air strikes, U.S.-led coalition forces against ISIL began patrolling the Turkey-Syria border to prevent further strikes.