Their military aim is the defeat of Islamic State and their political goal is secular democracy and autonomy in northern Syria, not the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad, writes Rosa Gilbert of the Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign

The Syrian Democratic Forces, the multi-ethnic secular forces in northern Syria primarily made up of the Kurdish YPG as well as other local Assyrian, Arab and Turkmen groups, have never sought the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad as your article suggests (British hostage Cantlie, seized by Isis in 2012, is alive, says Home Office, 6 February). Their military aim is the defeat of Islamic State and their political goal is secular democracy and autonomy in northern Syria as seen by the multi-ethnic, feminist, democratic socialist, commune-based society they have been constructing in the areas they have liberated from Isis. There have been no major battles with regime forces and in fact they have worked with the Syrian Arab Army in the Kurdish Aleppo district of Sheikh Maqsood, which was liberated from al-Nusra jihadists in 2016.
Rosa Gilbert
Co-secretary, Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign

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