Dramatic Kurdish warning: Possible Turkish operation “will include all of Syria”

“The Turkish state continues its border efforts, provocations and threats,” Mazloum Abdi, the commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), told reporters.

Any new military operation launched by Turkey in Kurdish-controlled areas of northern and eastern Syria will not be limited to Syrian Kurds, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) commander Mazloum Abdi told reporters on Friday.

“This time it will not be the war of the SDF and the Kurds, it will be a war for all of Syria. The war will be for everyone who does not want the Syrian territory to be invaded,” Abdi was quoted as saying by the Mezopotamya news agency.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced intentions to “complete the weakest parts of (Turkey’s) security line” along its southern borders with Iraq and Syria in June, later specifying that the Syrian Kurdish towns of Tel Rifaat and Manbij would soon become the focus of a new business.

“The Turkish state continues its border efforts, provocations and threats,” Abdi told reporters. “They have massed troops in the border area. We believe that they have not attacked until now, because they did not find the opportunity to do so.”

The attack could happen as soon as “a few days”, Abdi said. “They may have put it off a little bit, but once they reach their other goals and find an opportunity, we think they’ll go into business.”

Turkey maintains that the SDF has failed to comply with a ceasefire agreement reached in 2019, when Kurdish forces agreed to withdraw from the Turkish border and allow a so-called security zone between Kurds and Turkey, brokered by Russia and Syrian government.

“Looking at the actual agreement, we can see that it is Turkey that did not comply and violated it,” Abdi said, adding that SDF-controlled territory had been targeted in hundreds of drone strikes in the past month and that six civilians had been killed in these blows.

“Turkey’s occupied territories have become a real security zone for ISIS,” Abdi said. “Many high-level ISIS operatives, including Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, have been killed in these areas, showing us who is not abiding by the ceasefire.”

According to the commander, the Kurdish forces have withdrawn 32 kilometers and allowed the Syrian government forces to take their place. “The claim that our forces have not complied is aimed at tearing Syria apart and preventing a solution,” Abdi said.

There are thousands of ISIS members in prison camps in areas controlled by the SDF, where security would suffer greatly in the event of a Turkish operation, Abdi said.

“We cannot fight on two fronts. If there are attacks (from Turkey), we cannot continue the common fight against ISIS,” he continued.

The SDF has been the main force on the ground in the fight against the jihadist group, with military support from the US-led International Coalition against ISIS. Former US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria, which led to a Turkish operation, has been condemned by both sides of the aisle in Washington for abandoning the SDF and the Syrian Kurds, longtime allies of the United States.

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