US urges PYD to allow refugees to return to Tal Abyad
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJul 09, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jul 09, 2015 12:00 am
The Pentagon on Wednesday urged Kurdish rebels to fulfill their pledges to hand over the administration of the northern Syrian cities they captured from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) to local committees and facilitate the return of refugees.
Washington's statement came after top U.S. and Turkish diplomats held a two-day long meeting in Ankara, where Turkish officials conveyed their concerns about PKK-affiliated groups in Syria of displacing the Turkmen and Arab population in northern Syria.
Thanks to intense U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, the Kurdish rebel group – the Democratic Union Party's (PYD) military wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG) - recently managed to take control of the key town of Tal Abyad bordering Turkey, as well as several other villages around al-Hassakah province.
The YPG's victory against ISIS militants in northeastern Syria where they pushed militants back to the outskirts of their self-declared capital of Raqqah was overshadowed by Kurdish fighters allegedly forcing Arabs to flee Tal Abyad during the offensive in June. "We treat any allegations very seriously and have made clear to all actors that such behavior is unacceptable," Pentagon spokesman Elissa Smith told Anadolu Agency in an interview.
Smith welcomed the PYD's decision to allow the return of Tal Abyad residents who fled the area, as well as its pledge that it would leave the administration of the town to civilian committees. She also suggested that the liberated areas should be administered inclusively and the local population's rights should be protected to stabilize the respective territories.