Seven young Kurds from Kirkuk have arrived in Syria’s Rojava and joined the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against the Turkish army’s assault on northern Syria.
The military operation dubbed Peace Spring was launched on October 9th to push the SDF away from the border and allegedly establish a “safe zone” that could pave the way for the return of millions of Syrian refugees from Turkey to their country.
According to figures collected by KirkukNow from members close to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), seven Kurds have arrived Syria from Kirkuk to fight Turkish troops alongside the SDF.
The Turkish incursion has been designed to control northern and northeastern areas in Syria, particularly Sarekani and Grespi.
The figures indicate that at least 50 volunteers from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq have joined the fighting. The volunteers are said to be from Erbil, Sulaimaniya, Khanaqin, Makhmur, Penjwen, Garmiyan and Raparin.
SDF fighters are mainly comprised of Kurds and members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). The group was engaged in fierce fighting against the Islamic State (IS) group for more than 5 years.
The Turkish incursion has claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians and SDF fighters. Ibrahim Habib, a young volunteer from Kirkuk’s Panja Ali neighborhood who joined SDF 3 years ago was reportedly among those killed in recent clashes.
EU countries have sharply criticized Turkey’s move, with some countries suspending arms exports.
Meanwhile, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said a deal has been reached with Turkey for a cease-fire in northern Syria to end the Turkish offensive.
According to the deal with took effect on October 17, The Turkish side will pause Operation Peace Spring in order to allow for the withdrawal of YPG forces from the safe zone for 120 hours.