Turkish attacks on Syria have nothing to do with Istanbul blast – Mazloum Abdi

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Commander in Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Mazloum Abdi, said on Sunday that Turkish airstrikes on areas in northern Syria have nothing to do with Istanbul  blast, as Turkey has been preparing for the attack for a year.

The city of Kobani in northern Syria on the border with Turkey, was subjected on early Sunday to bombing by Turkish warplanes. The bombardment also covered vast swaths of lands in northern Syria.

Hours later, Abdi said that the Turkish bombing of the “safe” areas of northern Syria threaten the whole region.

Abdi said, in a televised interview to Ronahi TV, a local TV channel, that the Turkish airstrikes will continue for a specified period, expecting that they will continue for hours or days and ruling out a ground invasion, adding that there are no military movements on the ground by Turkish-backed armed opposition factions, also known as Syrian National Army (SNA).

Earlier on Friday, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said in a statement to al-Arabiya Channel that his country’s troops continue to launch operations in Syria and Iraq.

This came days after Istanbul blast on November 13 that claimed the lives of six people and wounded dozens.

Hours later, US Consulate General in Erbil, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), issued a security alert, advising its citizens not to travel to areas in north Syria and Iraq in the view of a Turkish military operation in the coming days.

Since late May, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced plans to carry out another major military cross-border incursion into northern Syria, specifying his targets in the two northern Syrian cities of Manbij and Tel Rifaat.

On July 1, Erdogan said that Ankara’s new military operation in northern Syria could begin at any moment.

“The time has come to clear these lands from the terrorist organizations,” Erdogan threatened during Tehran Summit.

Tehran’s trilateral Summit brought presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey together on July 19 with Syrian issue on the top of its agenda.

Abdi added that the bombing caused martyrs and wounded, without providing further details.

In addition, he stressed that they have nothing to do with Istanbul blast and denied the Turkish scenario that connects the attack on northern Syria to the blast, describing it as “a plot to strike our areas.”

He pointed out that the plot is a game of Erdogan to win Turkish elections that are scheduled to take place in 2023.

“Airstrikes will not discourage us and the attacks will hurt all parties if they continue,” Abdi stressed, “We do not want a long-term war, but if it is imposed on us, we are ready for it in a large scale.”

Abdi called on all parties to do their part in order to stop these airstrikes.

He called on all residents in northern Syria not to leave their houses in order not to get hurt, and that the security forces will tell them instructions according to field developments.

However, US and US-led Global Coalition did not express any position towards the Turkish attacks.

Reporting by Agid Meshmesh