AANES warns of Turkish escalation amid guarantors’ silence

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – On Tuesday, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) warned against Turkey’s ongoing escalation in north and northeast Syria, amid silence of the guarantor countries of the ceasefire agreements in Syria.

In October 2019, Turkish forces and their affiliated armed opposition factions, also known as the Syrian National Army (SNA), launched Operation “Peace Spring” against Sere Kaniye and Tel Abyad under the pretext of pushing the fighters of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) away from the Turkish border with Syria.

Following the Turkey’s occupation of the two cities, Turkey signed two ceasefire agreements, one with Russia and the other with the US, stipulating ceasing all hostilities and the withdrawal of the SDF 32 km away from the Turkish border.

On May 21, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced plans to carry out another major military cross-border incursion into northern Syria. Later on June 1, Erdogan specified his targets in the two northern Syrian cities of Manbij and Tel Rifaat.

In a statement, the AANES said that despite Turkey did not launch its military operation in northern Syria, it kept targeting civilians and destroying infrastructure.

The Autonomous Administration warned that the silence of the international community and the guarantor countries of the ceasefire agreements, encourage Turkey to escalate its aggression and undermine the security and stability of the region.

The administration expressed its doubts about potential hidden agreements between the actors in Syria with Turkey, stressing that it would only lead to further Turkish attacks.

The administration called on all actors to intervene immediately to stop the Turkish assaults, noting that the escalation is just a prelude for more expansion and occupation, not to mention laying the ground for the Islamic State (ISIS) to reorganize itself.

Reporting by Adnan Hamo