Kobani will not fall – Mazloum Abdi

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Mazloum Abdi, Commander in Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), declared on Thursday that his forces are ready to face any potential Turkish attack against northern Syria.

In an interview with al-Hadath TV, Abdi said that a future Turkish invasion is likely to target Kobani.

“If Turkey attacks Manbij or Tel Rifaat, the regime and other forces will not allow it, but no one is concerned about Kobani, should Turkey launch an attack there,” Abdi noted.

Abdi said the SDF has kept all channels open with the Syrian government in order to discuss military and security issues. They have asked the regime for help in repelling a possible Turkish attack, but have not received a reply.

Abdi revealed that there are 12.000 soldiers of Syrian government forces stationed in and around Kobani whose sole duty is to defend Syrian territories.

The SDF said it is not aware of the government forces’ preparedness for a potential Turkish attack. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad previously stated that Syrian forces would fight wherever they are stationed.

The SDF commander confirmed his forces will not budge. “We will fight in Kobani; it will not fall.” 

“It would be a massive war and a devastating one. The Turks will not achieve their goals and the war will spare none,” Abdi warned.

Regarding Washington’s position on a potential Turkish ground operation, he noted that the SDF has demanded that the US and Russia close their Syrian airspace to Turkey.

Opening their airspace to Turkey could be understood as a green light to Ankara to launch its operation, he explained. 

Abdi added that they demanded the US impose more sanctions on Turkey, were it to launch an incursion.

Asked about the future of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), the SDF commander said that they already have a political project which they shared with the Syrian government. They have asked the government to accept it, he says.  

Abdi outlined two main goals for the region. The first is the recognition of the AANES within the Syrian constitution. The second is that the SDF and the Internal Security Forces of North and East Syria (Asayish) be handed the command over military and security issues in the northeast “under the umbrella of the Syrian Army.” “We have faith in this project,” he said.

Abdi believes that it is hard for the Syrian government to recognize the AANES. However, it will be possible to reach a solution with the government “only if Turkey is taken out of the equation, as it is the biggest obstacle.” 

Reporting by Adnan Hamo