Kurdistan Democratic Party leader Masoud Barzani. File photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani said he is concerned about the security and future of Kurds in Syria after the US shocked its allies, announcing a premature withdrawal from the war against ISIS.
"The recent events and development in Syria, typically the condition of Kurdish nation in that country, are concerning,” he said in a published statement on Thursday.
Barzani, who has maintained close ties with international dignitaries after stepping down from the post of president of the Kurdistan Region late last year, said he has made known his concerns about the future of Kurds in Syria.
Barzani met with US special envoy to the war against ISIS Brett McGurk earlier this week and raised this issue
“It should have not reached to this point,” he stated on Thursday, adding that Kurds in Syria have suffered “too much.”
“A great number of Kurdish people in Syria have been displaced. The Daesh [ISIS] terrorist attacks, unstable political situation, and other threats of previous years have harmed Syrian Kurds too much,” he said, pointing out the war against ISIS is still not over.
"I hope that the recent events and developments do not lead to violence and deteriorated war. Also let the Kurdish people and nation in Syria no longer experience miseries," he concluded.
Barzani, as head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), has had an antagonistic relationship with the ruling Kurdish party in northern Syria. He supports the political opposition in Rojava and has condemned some policies of the ruling administration across the border.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) recently rejected
an offer to deploy the KDP-backed Roj Peshmerga to bolster defences in Rojava.
Despite their disputes, the two sides famously united to give ISIS its first major defeat in the city of Kobane when Peshmerga from the Kurdistan Region fought alongside the Syrian Kurdish forces.
The security of northern Syria is again at risk after US President Donald Trump announced
on Wednesday he is pulling American soldiers out of Syria. In addition to battling ISIS, the US troops were also a bulwark between their Kurdish allies and fellow NATO member Turkey, which is threatening an offensive against the Kurds.
Kurdish forces on the ground have warned that the US withdrawal will negatively affect the war on ISIS and wider regional peace.
The militants are still going strong, said SDF media officer Mustafa Bali.