YPG spokesman: ‘If the West wants to defeat ISIS it will have to help us’

Deutsche Welle reports: Redur Xelil is the spokesman of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, YPG.

DW: What is the current situation like in Kobani?

Redur Xelil: Clashes are still very heavy but we’ve made a significant step forward. Now we are not only resisting the assault but also striking back against enemy positions. However, we still rely on our light weapons against the heavy ones used by the “Islamic State” (IS) forces against us. We need supplies of all sorts as we are not facing just one armed group but the army of a whole state.

But you do have US air cover. What is the degree of coordination between the YPG and Washington?

Airstrikes are important but not enough to get rid of the enemy. Regarding coordination with Washington, it is obvious that we have to give them our exact position so that their bombs don’t fall on us. I cannot give you any further details about it. All I can say is that we’re looking forward to improve cooperation between us.

If airstrikes are not enough, will it be possible to defeat IS without the presence of international troops on the ground?

Mosul – Iraq’s second city – fell in three days while a town like Kobani has already endured a whole month of fighting, and that’s only thanks to our highly motivated fighters who are defending their land. So far, the YPG has proved to be the only armed force that has successfully fought IS. However, we’re not in a position to go beyond our borders, we cannot fight them outside our boundaries unless we coordinate with local Arabs in those areas, as we’ve done on previous occasions. International support is doubtless necessary but I think the different communities in the Middle East could defeat IS if they were properly armed, trained and coordinated. If the West wants to defeat the Islamists it will have to help us. [Continue reading…]

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