Turkey, Middle East

Russian support for PKK's Syrian arm PYD

In a sign of rapprochement gaining momentum between the two sides, Russia is backing the Syrian affiliate of the PKK terrorist organization, PYD, in Azez

27.11.2015
Russian support for PKK's Syrian arm PYD

Ankara

ANKARA

Russia supports the Syrian affiliate of the PKK terrorist organization, PYD, which is trying to take control of the Azez region in Syria near the Turkish border, local sources in Azez tell Anadolu Agency.

While the PYD attacks opposition forces in Azez, Russian aircraft have staged three airstrikes against the road linking the district with Bab al Salameh border gate, the sources say.

The sources claim Russian aircraft have also attacked the frontline where PYD is fighting opposition forces in the north of Aleppo. On Thursday, Russia attacked the Deyr Cemal town in the north of Aleppo, aiming to stop the advancement of opposition forces.

On Wednesday, Russia attacked long vehicles in the same region, killing seven people and injuring 10 others; 20 vehicles were also burnt.

Separately, Russian aircraft also attacked opposition forces on the ground in Malikiye and Ziyara towns, north of Aleppo, in support of the PYD, YPG and Syrian Democratic Forces during the last two days.

Last week, Russian jets also attacked opposition forces in Deir Cemal and Meryemeyn in attempts to open corridors for YPG and Syrian Democratic Forces.

Russia-PYD rapprochement gains momentum  

PYD expanded its territories towards the west after taking control of Tel Abyad from Daesh in June, a region mainly inhabited by Arabs and Turkmen.

However, for merging Kobani with Afrin region, PYD must first take control of Daesh-controlled Jerablus and opposition forces-controlled Azez regions. In order to achieve that goal, PYD has reportedly began its rapprochement with Russia.

Two days before Russia began its air campaign in Syria on Sept. 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that only the Bashar al-Assad regime and Kurds were truly fighting Daesh, giving a signal of rapprochement with Kurds.

Only 11 days after Russia began its air campaign in Syria, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met with PYD co-chairman Salih Muslim in Paris.

On Oct. 21, Bogdanov met also the other PYD co-chairwoman, Asya Abdullah, in Moscow. The meetings were followed by the initiative to open a PYD office in Moscow.

On Oct. 23, Putin said that the Assad regime and PYD need to unite forces, and called on the organization to come over to the regime side in the Syria conflict.

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