Apparently, the Pentagon is stepping up cooperation with the YPG led "Syrian Democratic Forces"
An old airfield east of Hasakah that was used by the "Hasaka Directorate of Agriculture" and had been in use since 2010, will be used in the future as a landing site for American warplanes.
The interesting thing is that the airfield is located in the catchment area of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Rojava, southeast of the city of Rimelan, near the village of Rimelan al-Basha. The SDF is an alliance of Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian militias in Rojava under the command of the YPG/YPJ.
YPG fighters are said to be already 40 km from Raqqa. Image: Inside Rojava
According to a report in the newspaper Kurdish Daily News U.S. experts are close to completing preparations for the airfield. For a month and a half, American technicians have been working on the 10-hectare rough military airfield with a runway of 2.500 meters long and 250 meters wide. The newspaper cites a report in the pro-Assad Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar.
This airport will help enable Washington to add an additional safe place to land its forces, commando units for example, and bring in military support to its allies who are working to finalize control over southern Hasakeh countryside.
The Kurdish forces are to be directly involved in the surveillance of the airbase. Meanwhile, the YPG reported a little over a week ago that two unidentified military helicopters flew over Cizire canton. It was suspected that they could have been Turkish helicopters. As it now turned out, on 24. November – presumably with the two helicopters sighted – eight U.S. military specialists flew in.
After a battle with IS fighters. Image: Inside Rojava
In Kobanê, 50 U.S. Special Forces are reported to have arrived around the same time to support the YPG/YPJ-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in their advance on Raqqa. The reports about the deployment of American elite units are contradictory, the Spiegel speaks of these units being sent to Iraq. Or were two units sent?
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter affirmed at any rate on 30. November in the House of Representatives that Washington was ready to expand military support in northern Syria. This will put Erdogan in distress, because Carter directed clear words in the direction of Turkey:
The government in Ankara must better secure the border with Syria, Carter said. This had not been done effectively enough since the rise of IS.
Turkey must also take action against IS supporters who infiltrated Turkey.
Carter also criticized Turkey’s airstrikes. Most of them were not directed against IS, but against the Kurdish organization PKK.
The Turkish government regards the Syrian Kurds in Rojava as offshoots of the PKK and thus as terrorists. The U.S., but also Russia, on the other hand, see them as the most effective fighters against the IS, having not only liberated Kobanê, but also, for example, in the eastern province of Hasaka, well over 1.000 square kilometers of IS-occupied areas with over 200 small villages have been reconquered. In October, the U.S. government had sent 45 tons of ammunition and other war materiel to the SDF. In mid-November, an important IS supply route into the Yezidi Shengal Mountains was interrupted. Always on the front lines in the Shengal were the fighters of the PKK – with the Yezidi troops and parts of the Peshmerga.
Slowly even the German government realizes that Turkey, especially Erdogan, suffers from a Kurdish phobia. Even though Defense Minister van der Leyen is still reluctant to mention the words YPG/YPJ. Turkey is to receive only censored data from the Tornado reconnaissance flights that have just been approved by the Bundestag. Data from Kurdish positions should not be passed on to protect the Kurds.
Considering that there is an ever closer cooperation between the U.S. and the Syrian Kurds, that Russia allows the PYD to have a representation in Moscow and that there is a direct coordination of the U.S. with the SDF, the PKK ban and the criminalization of Kurds in Europe and the U.S. become an absurd relic from the 1980s. A revision was urgently needed. But it will take a lot of patience until the Chancellor’s Office will be informed.