QAMISHLI – The recently founded rebel group of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced Saturday the start of a military campaign that aims to liberate the southern countryside of Hasakah, in northeastern Syria, from the radical group the Islamic State (ISIS).
The alliance of the SDF consists of several Syrian rebel groups, including Kurds and Arabs, that have backed the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in battles against ISIS jihadists.
Arab tribes and Syriac Christians are also listed as part of the newly established alliance.
The SDF’s General Command released Saturday a statement, of which ARA News received a copy, saying: “Establishing the Syrian Democratic Forces came to unite efforts and end rifts among the Syrian military factions after four years and a half of war, and to develop a strong strategy in order to liberate Syria and to defend its people against terrorism.”
“Our forces, backed by the U.S.-led coalition forces, will engage in battles with ISIS to liberate the southern countryside of Hasakah from the ISIS terror group,” the statement read. “We call on our people to stay away from the group’s headquarters. ISIS terrorists will try to use civilians as human shields to repulse our strikes.”
“We aspire for justice and freedom in our country. We are fighting for a pluralistic and democratic Syria where all social components can enjoy their legitimate rights and freedoms by eliminating oppression and terrorism,” the statement added.
“This sensitive phase in Syria’s history, and the dramatic developments at the military and political levels, require a united national military force for all Syrians, including Kurds, Arabs and other components,” the SDF said.
The U.S.-led coalition has already provided the Kurdish forces with air cover during battles against ISIS in northern Syria, as Kurds have shown bravery in the war on terrorist groups over the past three years.
Meanwhile, the growing strength of the Kurdish YPG forces has raised Turkey’s concerns, as Ankara considers the YPG as a branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK).
The YPG forces have repeatedly ousted the ISIS terror group and reported more gains in northern Syria, backed by rebels of Burkan al-Furat and Liwa’ Thuwar al-Raqqa.
In January, the Kurdish forces and allied rebels, supported by the Peshmerga, were able to push ISIS out of the border city of Kobane after four months of heavy fighting.
In June, the same factions liberated the key city of Tel Abyad (Gire Spi) on the border line with Turkey from ISIS, cutting off the group’s main transit route to Raqqa city.
Washington said earlier that it could provide military support to Arab rebel commanders in northern Syria in case they cooperate with the YPG forces.
Reporting by: Ahmed Shiwesh
Source: ARA News
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