Middle East

Turkey ‘coordinated’ with IS: SDF commander

Gen. Mazloum Abdi, the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said his alliance anticipated a direct Turkish intervention in Syria and claimed that Turkey had ‘coordinated’ with the Islamic State terrorist group, during an interview with the privately owned TeN satellite channel on Sunday.

“We were expecting a sectarian and civil war in Syria, and that there would be direct regional interference in Syria, in particular by Turkey.

“For that reason, we trained and prepared our youth for this stage, and when the civil war began we were ready for it, and we filled the void that the Syrian government left with its immediate withdrawal from this area,” Abdi said.

Abdi argued that the practices of previous regimes, over the past sixty years, has laid the ground work for regional intervention in Syria, with every regional country having made clear its policies in the region, and this has impacted the Syrian state in general and Syrian society in particular.

He stressed the importance of a “Syrian national democratic project” that would confront what he called the Turkish and Iranian project in the region.

“That is why we consider (what we’re doing) to be an excellent national project that preserves the unity of Syrian society. It has been opposed by everyone, but we have not yielded to regional and international difficulties and pressures, and we relied on our own strength and the strength of our people to confront these challenges,” he added.


Turkey was “coordinating with IS” and used them as a pretext to occupy Syria: Abdi

Abdi said that a division occurred between the SDF and al-Nusra Front during the emergence of IS, claiming that no government or opposition group in Syria dared to confront the terror group, except the SDF.

Abdi said that the now deceased leader of IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, threatened in a speech the other armed groups in Syria: “We are here, and we are working to spread the Islamic Sharia throughout Syria, and we will not fight against those who do not fight us, but we will fight those who oppose us.” 

Abdi claimed that the Syrian government gave in to the menace of Baghdadi and no one dared to oppose IS fighters.

“When ISIS arrived in our area, we confronted them with full force, and we told them: We do not allow you to enter these areas, whether militarily, administratively, or legally. The first confrontation on Syrian soil was in cooperation with the People’s Defense Units (YPG) in the town of al-Jazaa,” the SDF commander said.

Abdi claimed that IS tried to send a message to them through intermediaries, requesting to enter Kobani without a fight and asking that Abdi recognize the caliphate and allow the militants to raise the IS flag in exchange for the Kurds retaining their rights.

Abdi said he refused the deal.

He also claimed that Turkey was “coordinating with IS,” pointing to Turkey’s refusal of the coalition forces’ request to use Turkish bases to fight the extremist group.

Abdi alleged that all foreign IS fighters, with no exception, came to Syria via Istanbul airport and other Turkish airports from Turkish territories, adding that the Turkish state “facilitated” IS militants’ entry to Syria.

Turkey itself cannot deny this, he claimed, explaining that the battle of Kobani and the terror group’s defeat there was a turning point in the fight against IS in Syria.

Meanwhile, while seeming to remain neutral, Turkey was actually financing the organization, Abdi alleged, adding that Turkey had attempted to use IS to eliminate the YPG and used the conflict as a pretext to occupy Syrian lands.

He added that there existed coordination on the ground between IS and the Turkish intelligence’s leaders, without siting further evidence.

Abdi also claimed that IS carried out major suicide operations in exchange for Turkish aid, pointing to  alleged confessions of IS leaders held by the SDF.


Erdogan is the “supreme guide” of the Muslim Brotherhood organization: SDF commander

Abdi also alleged that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, claiming that the Turkish leader considers himself responsible for all “terrorist organizations” — the Muslim Brotherhood in particular, as well as related groups throughout the region.

Erdogan is trying to spread the Brotherhood’s philosophy, Abdi said, allowing the organization to take control of the region, siting the “failed attempts” by the Muslim Brotherhood to take over in Egypt and Syria.

Now, Abdi claimed, Erdogan is trying to spread the group through Libya.

Abdi said that Erdogan uses “religion and other tools such as IS, al-Nusra and terrorist organizations” in carrying out his “project” in the region.

He stressed that the silence of the international community on Erdogan’s practices has prolonged his occupation projects, alleging that Erdogan is trying, through the Muslim Brotherhood, to restore the former glories of the Ottoman caliphate.

Abdi called Erdogan’s expanding “strategy” a threat to the international community, adding that if Erdogan succeeds in intervening in the Libyan crisis, other countries will follow suit.


IS relies mainly on children for suicide and sabotage operations: SDF commander

In a related context, the SDF commander claimed during that interview the existence of more than 12,000 IS fighters and several camps that include the families of IS members — both foreigners and Syrians.

He added that the number of those present in the camps exceeds 100,000, including 60,000 displaced Iraqis, some of whom are immigrants while others are IS followers.

Abdi explained that the SDF has asked several countries to repatriate IS detainees, but they refused on the pretext that their “prisons are not ready,” with the SDF relying on their own resources to house IS detainees and their families.

He appealed to the countries of various IS detainees to recognize the role of the Syrian Democratic Forces in apprehending the militants.

“Everyone should carry out their duties in the issue of detainees and families of IS detainees we (are holding),” Abdi said.

“We obtained a treasure trove of information from the arrested IS fighters, and we now know how they worked, how they expanded, and how they organize their affairs.

“We were able to find the armories they were hiding, and we were able to thwart some operations that they wanted to do in Europe and other countries abroad in the coming period,” he said.

Abdi added that IS was mainly dependent on children for suicide and sabotage operations.

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