(AINA) -- The Syriac Military Council (SMC), a founding member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), has issued a statement asking for full and equal support from the United States. SMC, along with Bethnahrin Women Protection Forces, a force comprised of Assyrian female fighters, participates fully in all combat and non-combat activities of SDF. In the statement SMC objects to being marginalized by the U.S. and being identified merely as a small Christian group. The statement stresses that Assyrians are not Arabs or Kurds or Turkmen, and that Assyrian forces should receive the same military supplies as Arab and Kurdish forces are receiving.
Here is the full text of the statement:
General Votel stated in the congressional hearing of March 29th, 2017 that 'The most effective force (against ISIS) we have right now in Syria is the Syrian Democratic Forces that consist of both Kurds and Arabs, Turkmen and in some cases Christians´.
First of all we want to emphasize that it is a simple fact that we as Syriac-Assyrian Christians are a founding member of the SDF via the Syriac Military Council. We have furthermore been in every single operation of the SDF. Yes our numbers are smaller as our population is smaller as a consequence of the genocides against our people. However we are a full and equal partner in the SDF and we protest against the impression that we are less involved then our Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen compatriots. Our men and women are on the frontlines and we lost dear friends in battle. We know that it is not our compatriots who created this impression but a lack of information on the side of the US.
As the Syriac Military Council is a full and founding member of the SDF we ask that the Syriac Military Council receives military equipment and ammunition just like the Arabs and Turkmen in the SDF. We are not the Kurdish YPG. So far the YPG does not get equipment as Turkey accuses it to be part of the PKK. We disagree with this as we know that they are not. However we point to the simple fact that we are for sure not part of the PKK (we are not Kurdish) and that nobody ever stated that we are. There is no single reason to exclude us from the same support in equipment as is given to the Arabs.
The fact that we suffered under genocides emphasizes the need for delivery of military equipment. If we are weak, we are a target of the extremist forces that the SDF is fighting against. We will be part of any operation against Raqqa, regardless our current level of military equipment. We cannot imagine that the US would deliberately want us to be poorer equipped then our Arab partners when we go into that big battle.
We thank the US for the air support given in crucial battles and the support to the SDF. We also hope that this is an opportunity to work together for the long-term security and freedom of our people and all the peoples of the region.
Syriac Military Council
Bethnahrin Women Protection Forces