We are a part of Syria after all: Mazloum Abdi to al-Monitor

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Unless it gets the approval of either Russia or the US, Turkey cannot launch another military operation in NE Syria, Mazloum Abdi, Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said.

In an interview with Al-Monitor Abdi noted, Erdogan was told that “the US would not accept any attack against us.”  

Meanwhile, Russia has not concluded any deal with Turkey yet,” …”They were supposed to attack us today [Nov. 5] but nothing happened,” Abdi added.

“We have good relations with Russia. For the past two years.”

It is worth mentioning that in October 2019, Turkey signed two ceasefire agreements with both Russia and US in northeastern Syria, after a military operation that Turkey called “Peace Spring” targeting Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) and Tel Abyad areas, but the border areas adjacent to Turkish forces witness frequent targeting.

“Turkish-backed armed factions might attack us without Turkey’s authorization.”

Abdi did not rule out any Turkish offensive against the region in northeast Syria, “We are acting as if a Turkish operation against us will be carried out.”

He pointed out that Turkey is witnessing fluctuating balances domestically especially that “the consensus around Erdogan is fading,” in light of the upcoming elections.

Syria has been witnessing ongoing deteriorating economic conditions since the eruption of the Syrian war causing more than 90% of Syrians in in areas held by each of Syrian government, AANES, and the Turkish-occupied areas under Syrian faction’s power under the poverty line.

Since there are many unemployed people in light of the lack of job opportunities, ISIS can take advantage of these and restore its glory in the region, according to Abdi.

“Bolstering the economy has become one of the pillars of combatting terrorism. If we are to fight ISIS effectively we need to prioritize the economy,” he stressed.

During the Al-Monitor interview, Abdi confirmed the importance of exempting of the whole northeast Syria “from the US Caesar Act” which can contribute the economic prosperity in the region that can reduce the ISIS threats.

As for the intra-Syrian talks Abdi said, “So far, there have been no serious negotiations with Damascus.”  

According to Abdi, the government’s demands are as following: “Syria’s indivisible unity, preserving its flag, its borders, its president and their sovereignty.”

“We are ready to recognize all these points. But they should be prepared to negotiate with us for our autonomy.”

Meanwhile, Abdi believes that the way out of the Syrian crisis is not tied to Assad’s fall down, Astana or Sochi processes, but to powers that help to drive the country towards a final solution especially in northeast Syria and the entire country in general.

“It doesn’t matter whether Assad goes or stays…..What matters to us is that there be a solution for our region and for Syria as a whole.”

“We are a part of Syria after all. There can be no resolution without Damascus,” he stressed.

Kurds should feel themselves part of Syrian society, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, said yesterday, after talks with visiting Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States within the Holy See’s Secretariat of State.