A Kurdish fighting force, long one of Washington’s preferred war-making proxies in the Middle East, published a video Tuesday showing them blowing up a tank belonging to Turkey, a US ally, in Syria. The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) are considered a terrorist group by Ankara.
“Our forces targeted and destroyed a tank belonging to terrorist groups under the Turkish army’s command near [the] Azaz hospital in Afrin’s Shera district,” the YPG said in an August 5 Facebook post.
According to the press release of YPG, their forces targeted and destroyed a tank belonging to militants groups under the Turkish army’s command near Azaz hospital in Afrin’s Shera district. The noted group that was attempting to deploy a number of heavy weapons including the tank, has been heavily shelling YPG units near Marenaz village. The operation was a response to occupation attempts and attacks carried out against Kurdish forces, according to the statement.
US officials told Military Times that the YPG has Washington’s backing “fighting [Daesh] in and around Raqqa.” Kurdish fighters don’t have US support for operations near Azaz, however, which is “located 20 miles north of Aleppo and has been the scene of cross-border skirmishes between Turkey and Kurdish militants,” the Times added.
While carving out a Syrian Kurdistan doesn’t seem to be high on anyone’s agenda at the moment, Kurdish autonomy in Iraq is much closer to reality. The Kurds are slated to hold a controversial referendum vote in Erbil, Iraq, later this year to vote on transforming their current autonomous Kurdish state in northern Iraq into an independent nation.
Some in the US administration have expressed disapproval of the vote. “We do not think the referendum should happen in September,” US special presidential envoy Brett McGurk said at a State Department briefing on July 14.