Mustafa Bali, the director of the Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) Media Centre, has denied that the SDF has a LGBT military unit that participates in the battle for Raqqah.
“Social Media sites today reported on the formation of a battalion of homosexuals within the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Raqqa,” Bali said in a statement on Tuesday, according to ARA NEWS. “We in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), while emphasizing our deep respect for human rights, including the rights of homosexuals, we deny the formation of such a battalion within the framework of our forces and we consider this news to be untrue.”
Earlier reports appeared that a group of volunteers had formed a LGBT military unit within the SDF. The so-called Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army (QILA) released a photo allegedly confirming their participation in the US-led Raqqah operation and declared that they joined the SDF in order to defend the rights of sexual minorities.