YPG: 'We have the right to defend ourselves by any means necessary'

by Meghan Bodette    


The YPG Press Office issued a statement in response to Turkish attacks on the Syrian border near Kobane, which killed one Erka Xwe Parastine (EXP) fighter, injured civilians, and damaged several homes. In the statement, they claimed that the Turkish attacks only serve to aid ISIS, and that the YPG will protect Northern Syria from any invasion attempts. 

"While we are fighting with all our forces to expel the ISIS terrorism from our regions and leading a war against them on the front-lines, these unjustified attacks of the invader Turkish army are indirectly helping ISIS. We affirm once again that there was no any attack conducted from our side against the borders of the invader Turkish state, and the only aim of their attacks is to create provocations and to help the ISIS terrorist structure," the statement read. 

SDF forces in Deir Ezzor are currently fighting to clear Syria's last ISIS pocket in Hajin, where hardened terrorists who fled Raqqa and other former ISIS strongholds are making their last stand. 

Turkey frequently shells villages surrounding Kobani as part of its pattern of threats against Northern Syria. To some observers, the attacks are reminiscent of the intermittent shelling of Afrin Canton, which preceded the full-scale invasion and occupation launched in January of this year. The invasion of Afrin unquestionably aided ISIS and other terrorist groups that the international community seeks to degrade and destroy in Syria, giving formerly stable territory to Islamist militias and diverting YPG forces from the fight against ISIS in the northeast. 

Yesterday's attack came as Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with German, Russian, and French leaders at a four-way summit on Syria, and the previous round of shelling— which killed one civilian— took place just after American pastor Andrew Brunson was released from Turkish prison. The attack also coincided with a new threat from Erdogan against Tel Abyad, located east of Kobane on the Turkish border. Like previous provocations, it is likely that it was intended to warn the international community that Turkey is not content with facts on the ground in Syria— and is willing to destabilize the country further to achieve its preferred outcome. 

The YPG continues to affirm that they will defend Northern Syria from any threat that it may face. "We declare that no matter from where and who it comes, no attack against the northern Syrian territory will be left unanswered, and that in this sense we have the right to defend ourselves by any means necessary," their statement concluded.