KurdWatch, October 16, 2015—According to reports by various news agencies, the US provided Syrian opposition groups with ammunition and weapons, which were dropped in the province of al‑Hasakah early this week. The weapons were reportedly intended for the newly founded »Syrian Democratic Forces«, of which the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) is the most important member. After giving up plans to establish its own Syrian military force, the US now intends to support a troop of more than 20,000 Kurds and up to 5,000 Arabs in the fight against the Islamic State (IS). The goal is to capture the IS stronghold of ar‑Raqqah in northern Syria.
The US has already conducted air strikes to support the YPG in the fight against the IS in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) and Tall Abyad (Girê Sipî). In connection with this, Amnesty International has accused the YPG of severe human rights violations against Arab civilians.