In an interview to Al-Jazeera outlet Barzani acknowledged for the first time that Kurdistan Region is training Syrian refugees in the region to keep the Kurdish regions of Syria from being engulfed in violence.
“A good number of the young Kurds who fled have been trained. We do not want to interfere directly in the situation, but they have been trained,” Barzani said in the interview on Monday.
He added that the group has not yet been sent back to Syria, but is intended to be deployed there to fill any “security vacuum” as Syrian security forces retreat.
Al Jazeera quoted Barzani as saying that the fighting force, made up largely of Syrian Kurds who deserted the army and made their way across the border, would take its orders from a new high committee formed two weeks ago when two major Kurdish opposition groups put aside their differences.
“They have not been sent to Syria. They are still here -- if this high committee requires them to go they still could, if not they will wait for the situation to be sorted out because these people are from these areas and they will go back eventually,” he said.
Syrian Kurds have reportedly gained control over some Kurdish towns and cities in the country. The reports said Syrian Kurdish groups have gained control of several towns, including Kobane and Efrin in Aleppo and Amude in the city of al-Hasakah, over the past few days, while negotiations with Syrian forces for the peaceful surrender of Qamishli, the biggest Kurdish city in Syria, are under way.