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Plans to boost Roj Peshmerga troops to 10,000 amid concerns over renewed hostilities with PKK

By Rudaw 6/3/2017
Members of the Rojava Peshmerga force known as Roj Brigade in Khanasoor in Shingal region. Photo: Rudaw video
Members of the Rojava Peshmerga force known as Roj Brigade in Khanasoor in Shingal region. Photo: Rudaw video

SINONE, Kurdistan Region— Plans are underway to increase the number of Syrian Peshmerga forces, also known as the Roj Brigade, to 10,000 after deadly clashes erupted last week between them and local armed groups supported by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), according to the commander of the Roj Brigade. 

Commander Sharvan Diroki also said the US had given the green light for the Roj troops, which are mainly based on the Iraqi border, to enter Kurdish territories in Syria. 

“We have plans to boost the number of our Peshmerga to around 10,000 in three months time after new training sessions,” Diroki told Rudaw. “The US has officially asked us to be prepared for deployment into Rojava, but the PKK and YPG (People’s Protection Units) were opposed to the move,” he added. 

The Roj Brigade is the armed wing of the Syrian Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDKS) which is currently based in the Kurdistan Region and enjoys the support of the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Iraq. 

Since the Syrian uprising in 2011 and subsequent formation of the Kurdish enclave in the country known as Rojava, the PDKS has repeatedly accused the dominant Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) of authoritarian rule and exclusion of other parties such as the PDKS. PYD has denied the claims.

The PDKS is a member of the Kurdish National Council (ENKS) which is part of the larger opposition alliance in Syria, the Syrian National Council, and is composed of about a dozen Kurdish parties in the country.

Also ENKS, backed by the KDP, has in the past accused the PYD and its powerful local army, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), of excluding Kurdish groups not affiliated with Turkey’s Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a proponent supporter of the PYD.  

Sources close to ENKS told Rudaw last month that the PYD-led government in Rojava was likely to allow Peshmerga forces affiliated with the ENKS, including the Roj Brigade, to enter the Kurdish enclave for what they described as the final push against the Islamic State militants in the country.

The Syrian Peshmerga troops, whose number is around 7,000, have so far been denied access to the Kurdish enclave by the PYD. 


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Yek | 6/3/2017
Just with unity Kurdistan can succeed and not with donkeys blaming and attacking each other
pesh | 6/3/2017
Good use them to protect peace and stability
Hama | 6/3/2017
This is the only way. For 3 years KDP has tried to reason with PKK. I'm not KDP but from Slemani but what's right is right. Any objective person can see who is wrong here. KDP sent peshmerga to Kobane to help PKK save the city. They left right after to avoid tension and civil war. Yet PKK backstabbed KRG kurds in Shingal. What started out as assistance became occupation. They claim the have the right to stay because some Yezidis support them. Well alot of kurd support KDP in Rojava but yet PKK won't allow Rojava Peshmerga to controle any town in Rojava. This double standard from PKK is not acceptable. We cannot allow millitias in KRG. only Peshmerga can operate in KRG and Shingal is part of KRG. Otherwise we'll have yezidi millitias, christian millitias, turkmen millitias, arab millitias. All want autonomy and KRG will be split up and no more independence. Can't let that happen. Its sad to say but PKK is now a bigger threat than ISIS.
Guest | 7/3/2017
I read somewhere that the Kurds in Rojava call those so-called Syrian Peshmerga troops or "Roj Brigade" as "Jaashmerga", because they are at the service of Turkish president Erdogan and are trying to carry out the policy of the Turkish government................................. I hope Rudaw will not be too scared to publish this.
together_is_the_way | 7/3/2017
please don´t struggle. the kurds will go down, if they don´t stay together. the enemies of the kurds are happy that the kurdish fractions are not together. *and by the way - the west don´t support a kurdish state - if the fractions struggling and can´t find good agreements.

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