US-led anti Daesh coalition spokesman says US not to support forces not fighting DaeshU.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon said Tuesday the coalition would not offer support to any forces that are not fighting Daesh or working toward the U.S. mission, referring to PYD/PKK elements in Afrin.
Dillon’s comments came during a briefing where he was asked whether the U.S.-led Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve bears the responsibility to extend support to PKK/PYD militants who recently moved to Afrin in northwest Syria in case of a Turkish operation in the area.
Dillon suggested that the coalition would protect forces who fight Daesh, giving the example of the PKK/PYD in northeastern Syria that rebranded itself as Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
But he put an exception to that commitment.
“If you're not fighting ISIS (Daesh) and you're not working towards the same mission that we are, then you don't get that support,” he said.
He gave the example of a Syrian opposition group called al-Shuhuk which stopped supporting U.S. operations in southeastern Syria around Al-Tanf.
“I think we've shown once in the past that with the element who were working out of Al-Tanf who did not want to fight ISIS and had other endeavors. We cut our ties with them because that's what they wanted to pursue and then they were not going to be supported by the coalition any further.” he said.
Dillon added he could not confirm any plan by Turkey to launch an operation in Afrin.
The PYD and its military wing YPG is the Syrian extension of PKK, which has waged war against Turkey for more than 30 years.
The U.S. and the coalition have largely ignored PYD/PYG links to the PKK, which the U.S., EU and Turkey lists as a terrorist group.
In declaring victory in Raqqa, the PKK/PYD released a video dedicating the triumph to Abdullah Ocalan, the PKK leader jailed in Turkey since 1999.
Since the PKK launched its terror campaign in Turkey in 1984, tens of thousands of people have been killed.