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House of Commons Hansard
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05 July 2018
Volume 644

Counter-Daesh Update

The following is an extract from questions on a statement by the Secretary of State for Defence on 3 July 2018.

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Does the Secretary of State accept that our principal allies on the ground in Syria have been Kurdish-led? Does he share my concern that, having helped to supress and eliminate Daesh in Syria, those Kurdish-led forces may now find themselves under attack by Turkey, a country with an ambivalent record toward both Islamist extremism on the one hand and Russia on the other? What will we do if we find our Kurdish allies are attacked by our so-called NATO ally?

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We have worked incredibly closely with the Syrian defence forces over a period of time, as have other coalition allies. We are working closely with the United States and France to get a dialogue going between the Syrian defence forces and Turkey to ensure that there is no conflict of the form that my right hon. Friend raises. [Official Report, 3 July 2018, Vol. 644, c. 196.]

Letter of correction from Gavin Williamson:

An error has been identified in the response I gave to my right hon. Friend the Member for New Forest East (Dr Lewis).

The correct response should have been:

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We have worked incredibly closely with the Syrian democratic forces over a period of time, as have other coalition allies. We are working closely with the United States and France to get a dialogue going between the Syrian democratic forces and Turkey to ensure that there is no conflict of the form that my right hon. Friend raises.

The following is a further extract from questions on a statement by the Secretary of State for Defence on 3 July 2018.

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The Kurdish people fought with some of the most bravery and effect to defend their local populations against the cruelties of Daesh. What are the UK Government now doing to protect the Kurdish people of Iraq and Syria from being attacked by the Governments of those two countries and, indeed, by the Government of Turkey?

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We continue to work very closely with, especially, the Iraqi Government and the Turkish Government to make sure that we have sensible and pragmatic solutions. We have always had a very strong relationship with the Kurds, especially in Afghanistan. We have a very good relationship with the SDF, which is both Kurdish and Arab. We will continue to work to try to ensure, especially in Syria, that the SDF is an integral part of the solution for that country going forward. [Official Report, 3 July 2018, Vol. 644, c. 201.]

Letter of correction from Gavin Williamson:

An error has been identified in the response I gave to the hon. Member for Ipswich (Sandy Martin).

The correct response should have been:

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

We continue to work very closely with, especially, the Iraqi Government and the Turkish Government to make sure that we have sensible and pragmatic solutions. We have always had a very strong relationship with the Kurds, especially in Iraq. We have a very good relationship with the SDF, which is both Kurdish and Arab. We will continue to work to try to ensure, especially in Syria, that the SDF is an integral part of the solution for that country going forward.