US-backed Kurdish armed militants ‘traitors’ to Syria: President Assad
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says all US-backed Kurdish armed militants are “traitors” to the Syrian nation, ramping up the rhetoric particularly against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which are mainly active in northeastern areas of the Arab country through receiving vital substantial air and armament support from Washington.
The Syrian leader made the remarks in a meeting with a high-profile official and economic delegation from Russia, led by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Monday, Syria’s official news agency, SANA, reported.
“When we talk about those referred to as ‘the Kurds’, they are in fact not just Kurds. All those who work for a foreign country, mainly those under American command… are traitors” regardless of their names, Assad said.
The YPG is the main part of a larger coalition of fighters — the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) — which was engaged in operations aimed at liberating Raqqah, the former de facto capital of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the war-torn country. Washington considers the SDF, which also includes Arab militants, as its main proxy force fighting on the ground in Syria.
Damascus regards the Kurdish militia coalition as an illegitimate foreign force operating on the Syrian soil, just as is the case with the so-called US-led military coalition that has been conducting airstrikes against purported Daesh targets since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.