Martin Chulov claims that People's Protection Units (YPG), military ally of Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), is only effective fighting force against DAESH
Martin Chulov from the Guardian wrote in his article on 24 November 2015 that the YPG, which is a military ally of the PKK (a terrorist organization operating mostly in Turkey whose headquarters are established in Iraq's Kandil region), is the only effective fighting force against the DAESH terrorist group.1
However, Mr. Chulov offers no evidence for his argument in the article.
The YPG forces Chulov praised for their fight against DAESH was led and supported by the US and other allies.2 The YPG is an armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is affiliated to the PKK, fighting against DAESH.
In October 2014 when clashes became violent, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that the Syrian border town of Kobani was about to fall to DAESH and a ground operation is needed to defeat DAESH.3 After that incident, international concern over DAESH fighters grew and US-led coalition forces started to hit the group with airstrikes.4
Contrary to Chulov’s claim, there were several opposition rebel groups that kept fighting DAESH and stopped their invasion. The YPG only began to inflict casualties on DAESH after the US-led coalition forces’ bombardment.
Here are some examples of opposition groups’ struggle against DAESH:
-According to the AFP, Syrian rebels were laying siege against DAESH in their northern stronghold of Raqa on 6 January 2014.5
-On 7 January 2014, at least 34 foreign fighters from DAESH and an ally were killed after clashes with rival Syrian rebels.5
-The Syrian Revolutionaries Front, the Army of the Mujahideen and other rebels had been battling DAESH and took control of Raqqa on 8 January 2014.6 For Idlib, one of the most important cities in Syria, Syrian opposition forces battled DAESH in January 2014.7
-On 8 January 2014, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) took control of Aleppo from DAESH.8
-On 17 April 2014, Syrian rebels announced the opening of a new front against DAESH fighters in the east of Damascus.9
-In May 2014, the FSA and the YPG cooperated against DAESH militants in Syria’s Tel Abyad.10
-Syrian opposition forces had been fighting DAESH for so long and own their own they demanded help in order to fight against DAESH in June 2014.11
-In August 2014, Syrian rebels killed DAESH fighters and took three as hostages in Aleppo.12
-Kurdish militias and Arab rebels fought together against DAESH. According to New York Times on 15 June 2015, a coalition of Kurdish militias and Arab rebels stormed into a strategic Syrian town on the Turkey border seizing most of it from DAESH fighters who had long used the area to smuggle supplies and fighters into their self-declared caliphate.13
-Ahrar al-Sham announced support for DAESH-free Syria zone on 11 August 2015.14
-On 10 October 2015, Syrian rebels battled against DAESH in Aleppo and recaptured several villages seized by DAESH.15 Contrary to the YPG, Syrian rebels could not receive much help to rage against DAESH until October 2014. A US official said that US-led coalition forces have parachuted ammunition to Syrian rebels fighting DAESH on 13 October.16
-Syrian rebels freed of DAESH the village of Tal Jabin in Aleppo province on 14 October 2015.17
Turkey’s Crucial Corridor for Peshmerga Forces
Additionally, there had been several effective attacks to defeat DAESH. Turkey opened a corridor, for instance, and let dozens of Iraqi peshmerga forces enter Syria through its borders in October 2014 to save Kobani. That was one of the most important turning points in the fight against DAESH.18
“In Kobani, Turkey provided our daily food and, apart from that, they also provided four trucks of ammunition, which cost $630,000,” said Peshmerga commander Muslih Zebari on 5 May 2015. At the same time, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani also recently praised Turkey's role in providing support in the fight to drive DAESH away.19