ALEPPO – A former US volunteer who fought with the Kurds against ISIS and was waiting for the Jarabulus operation, called the Turkish operation a slap in the face of Kurds, and a betrayal by the US that backed the Turkish operation.
“It’s a slap in the face to the Kurds. Not only them but also foreign volunteers,” Erwin Stran told ARA News. “We lost two Americans in the Manbij operation as well as others. Not to mention the Kurdish body count. Now the Kurdish push has been halted. At least it seems for now,” he added.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) lost at least 264 fighters in the Manbij operation, including at least 6 foreign volunteers, according to military sources.
The former American volunteer in the ranks of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), Erwin Stran, called the Turkish invasion into Jarabulus on Wednesday “a betrayal by the US government”. “It certainly seems that way,” he said.
“The same air support the Kurds had during their advance [in the war on ISIS] is now supporting an operation that the Kurds were told to back away from,” he said.
“Did the US betrayed the Kurds? It certainly seems that way,” he said when asked if the US deceived the Kurds.
“I think it’s pretty much a game at this point. We sat on the Euphrates about 2 kilometers from Jarabulus for a little over three months. The whole reason my group and myself ended up there was because we knew how important Jarabulus was [as a jihadi border pocket for ISIS],” Stran told ARA News.
“We figured then though the push probably wasn’t going to happen. Even the Kurds who had been on the river since Kobanê understood that the politics involving Turkey would prevent it,” he stated.
He added it’s ironic that ISIS was able to escape when Turks entered Syria’s Jarabulus on Wednesday morning. “I just find it ironic that Daesh [ISIS] has a clear path to run whatever they need from turkey, all the way down to Raqqa and most likely into Mousl as well. Now Turkey wants to control that portion of the border and keep the Kurds out,” he said.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg
Source: ARA News