Saleh Muslim, co-chair of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) — which controls a string of mainly Kurdish-populated towns and villages in northern Syria and administers them through "popular councils" — has a few tempered messages for Turkey in an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor on Oct. 7. A few days later, on Oct. 9, as this article was about to be published, news emerged that Muslim's son Shervan, a fighter with the Popular Defense Units (YPG), had been shot and killed in the town of Tel Abyad by a sniper from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Muslim could not be reached for comment.
Muslim, who of late has accused Turkey of waging a proxy war against the PYD by supporting jihadist groups in Syria, said he appreciated the tough criticism delivered by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in late September to groups launching terror attacks in the name of Islam. Muslim also said there is no question whatsoever of his organization joining Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in taking hostile action against Turkey.