American analyst says US needs to provide SDF with drones

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – The US needs to provide Mazloum Abdi, Commander in Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), with drones of their own and anti-aircraft capabilities, Michael Rubin, the American policy analyst and former official at the Pentagon, told North Press on Saturday.    

This came after a Turkish attack on a convoy included Mazloum Abdi, forces of the Sulaymaniyah-headquartered Counter-Terrorism Group (CTG), and personnel of the US-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS near Sulaymaniyah International Airport in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) on Friday.

In an exclusive statement to North Press, Rubin said Erdogan wants to show that he is tracking Mazloum Abdi and other SDF commanders.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to show Washington how serious he is about de-legitimizing the SDF for their unwillingness to subordinate themselves to Turkey’s whims, he added.   

Rubin added that Erdogan is sparking a crisis to distract the Turks from his poor record of economic management ahead of the May 2023 elections.

The American analyst indicated that the administration of the US President Joe Biden might want to downplay what happened, but the more public the reality of events becomes, the harder it will for the White House and Turkey’s lobbyists in Washington to pretend this did not happen.

He stressed that the US needs to stop all intelligence sharing, kick Turkey out of the Global Coalition, designate Hakan Fidan and Hulusi Akar with either terrorism or Magnitsky Act sanctions.

The US needs to formally delist the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and remove Turkey’s ability to use that outdated designation as a way to delegitimize the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES)’s democratic development, as Rubin put it.

In a new think piece for the Washington Examiner early in February, Rubin argued that Syrian Kurds sacrificed more than 12,000 men and women to fight ISIS at a time when Turkey and its Syrian proxies [the Syrian National Army (SNA)] supported the group.”

Earlier today, Saturday, Mazloum Abdi told North Press that the Turkish attack took place during his presence in a convoy that included troops of the Global Coalition and CTG forces. “Yes, I was in Sulymaniyah heading a delegation of the SDF.”  

“Erdogan seeks to win the elections and creates a state of chaos to eliminate the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria so that he can open the door for a new invasion of the region,” Abdi said.

Michael Rubin concluded that it is time to sanction Turkey’s Bayraktar and to stop all shipment of dual use technologies and spare parts to Turkey. “If Biden won’t lead, it is time Congress does.”

Reporting by Hadeel Oueiss

Editing by John Ahmad