US posts SDF message denying PKK link

 12 Jan 2017 - 12:13

US posts SDF message denying PKK link
Photo: AA.

AA

WASHINGTON: The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said Wednesday it is not part of the PKK terror group in a message disseminated by the U.S.'s Middle East command.

"Our force is not part of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK)," the SDF's general command said in a statement posted on Central Command's Twitter account. "We are considering ourselves as a part of Syria nation and Syrian land."

Washington has long relied on the SDF as its principal partner on the ground in the Syrian theater of the anti-IS fight.

The group, which includes Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen fighters, is primarily comprised of the YPG.

Turkey considers the group to be the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.

Washington and Ankara have designated the PKK a terrorist organization but the U.S. has not similarly labeled the YPG.

"We announce that we will fight until the end to liberate and secure all the Syrian lands from the ISIL fighters," the SDF said. "We also announce that we will continue our work with international coalition allies against terrorism."

The SDF also said it is seeking improved relations with neighboring states, including Turkey.