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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Syrian Kurds Oppose US Land Operation Against Islamic State in Syria: Party Leader

RIA Novosti

17:41 08/10/2014

MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti) - Syrian Kurds are against a US led land operation in Syria, but expect the international community to help them in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) militants, the leader of the Syrian Kurds said in an interview with Rossiya Segodnya on Wednesday.

'We do not need this [the US land operation]. These are just excuses. We can handle it on our own. All we need is weapon supplies. If they give us advanced weaponry, then we will be quite capable of defending ourselves,' the leader of the Democratic Union Party Salih Muslim said, adding that the Syrian Kurds are asking the international community to help them 'protect themselves.'

Any intervention by Turkey in ground combat against the Islamic State would also be 'unacceptable' and would be seen as 'an act of aggression against Syria,' Muslim said, commenting on the recent proposal by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to bring ground forces to the north of Syria.

'If he [Erdogan] really wants the city of Kobani to hold, he can finally open the checkpoints on the border so that we receive humanitarian and military assistance,' the head of the Kurdish party said.

'Right now, the Kurds of Syria are being subjected to cruel attacks, brutal and inhumane aggression. Today we are facing the prospect of annihilation. So, we have to defend ourselves by all means possible,' Muslim said.

Islamic State militants have been besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, one of the largest towns in the Kurdish region bordering Turkey, for the last three weeks. Over 400 people have died during clashes between IS and Kurdish fighters there according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Earlier this week, Idris Nassan, a senior speaker for the Kurdish fighters called the airstrikes against IS targets in Syria, conducted by the US-led international coalition, ineffective, noting that fighter jets cannot hit every single IS fighter on the ground.

The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories under its control in both countries.

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