The pro-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) will continue their operations against Islamic State (ISIS), regardless of what transpires in the battle for Mosul. In an interview with ARA News on Wednesday, Commander Talal Silo, an official SDF spokesman, also said that the SDF intends to police the Syrian-Iraqi border in order to catch fleeing jihadists.
“The ongoing battle for Mosul in Iraq doesn’t have any direct impact on the situation of our forces in Syria. If ISIS terrorists make any movements here, especially in the northeastern Hasakah Governorate […SDF fighters] are ready to defend the region,” the spokesman said.
“There are ongoing clashes between the Syrian Democratic Forces and ISIS terrorists at several fronts in northern Syria. We are also prepared to thwart any infiltration attempts by ISIS terrorists fleeing from Iraq’s Mosul,” Silo added.
Manbij Local Councils
Changing topics, The Kurdish commander expressed satisfaction with the political reforms being undertaken in Manbij city. He reminded ARA News that the political rights being enjoyed in Manbij came at a high price.
“The recently liberated city of Manbij is now being run by the local [military and civilian] councils,” he said. “Since its liberation from ISIS terrorists, the city has been run by the local citizens who sacrificed a lot for their freedom.”
Silo did however, take issue with recent Tukish government statements, which said that the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the SDF were terrorists. They also described Manbij as solely belonging to its Sunni Arab majority.
“We’ve seen the Turkish government, and its leader Erdogan, issuing false statements to the media concerning the liberated Syrian towns, directing baseless accusations at the SDF,” he said. Silo pointed out that many Arab rebel factions had found their fraternal home in the SDF’s ranks.
“[The SDF] has an agreement with the US-led coalition regarding the situation in every area freed from ISIS. The agreement also entails maintaining the SDF-led local forces that have liberated those towns from ISIS,” Silo said.
The Kurdish commander expressed his confidence that the US-led coalition would not bend to Turkey’s demands, saying: “So, Turkey is against this, but the coalition knows how to deal with the Turkish ambitions.”
“We have called on all revolutionary forces in Syria to join the Syrian Democratic Forces. Since the establishment of the SDF, more than 20 rebel factions have joined our ranks,” Silo concluded. “We still have communication channels with other factions, including Arabs and Turkmen. We have invited them to join the Syrian Democratic Forces to liberate and rebuild the country.”