SDF commander Mazloum Kobani meets top U.S. commanders
Commander-in-chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mazloum Kobani Abdi, on Saturday met with General Paul T. Calvert, commander of the U.S.-led Combined Joint Task Force (Coalition against ISIS), and Kenneth F. McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), pro-Kurdish Rudaw news site reported.
Abdi announced the meeting on his social media account saying he was pleased to discuss both economic and security issues in the region with Calvert and McKenzie.
Was pleased to meet Gen.Calvert & Gen.McKenzie to discuss the security & economic challenges in the region. We have received messages about the continued presence of Coalition forces, joint cooperation to combat ISIS & efforts to protect & stabilize the region.@CENTCOM @CJTFOIR— Mazloum Abdî مظلوم عبدي (@MazloumAbdi) May 22, 2021
The Joe Biden administration including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, have advocated for continued U.S. support for the largely Syrian Kurdish forces in north-eastern Syria, and he is joined by like-minded officials like White House coordinator for the Middle East Brett McGurk.
U.S support for the SDF has long been opposed by Turkey, who sees the organisation as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for 40 years.
Both Turkey and the United Sates label the PKK a terrorist organisation. Washington has worked over the years to distance its Syrian Kurdish allies from the group.