SDF wants “stronger” US warning for Turkey in Syria
Mazloum Abdi, the chief commander of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) called on Washington for a “stronger” warning for Turkey in order to prevent a Turkish ground offensive into Northern Syria.
Despite receiving “clear” assurances from the US and Russia that they both opposed a Turkish ground operation, Abdi said they are still nervous.
“We need stronger, more solid statements to stop Turkey," Abdi told Reuters by phone on Tuesday.
Abdi added that they have noticed new military reinforcements on the border and within Syria in areas controlled by Turkey-backed rebel groups.
Turkey which previously has carried out three large-scale operations into Northern Syria is now threatening a new ground offensive to combat Kurdish militants who blames for a recent Istanbul bomb attack.
Following the explosion that hit Istanbul’s historic Istiklal Avenue on Non.13, Tukey has launched an aerial operation into its neighboring country, alongside with Northern Iraq, targeting outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliate People’s Protection Units (YPG), which forms the backbone of the SDF.
Since the launching of the airstrikes on Nov.19, Turkish officials including President Recep Tayyip frequently say that the aerial operation will be followed by a land offensive. Erdogan said Turkish military will carry out a ground offensive when “convenient”.
"Turkey has announced its intent and is now feeling things out. The beginning of an invasion will depend on how it analyses the positions of other countries," Abdi said.
The United States which is allied with the Kurdish-led SDF against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, continuously warned Turkey for not carrying out a ground offensive, saying that such operation will harm the efforts in fight against the ISIS, that “remains a viable, credible threat inside Iraq and Syria”.
On Monday, Washington went further saying that it does not want to see any action in Syria that could put the American soldiers’ lives at risk.
According to Reuters, there are around 900 US troops located in Northern Syria.