The “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF), which control northeastern Syria, are demanding that the West take a more decisive stance against a Turkish invasion of the neighboring country. “No one has made it clear to Turkey what the consequences of a new attack would be or threatened sanctions,” SDF commander General Mazlum Abdi told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
The commander also expressed concern that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could use his “blackmail potential” in view of Finland and Sweden joining NATO to provide diplomatic cover for his military attack plans in Syria. The SDF, commanded by Mazlum Abdi, are key allies of the United States in the fight against the “Islamic State” (IS). However, they are dominated by Kurdish “People’s Defense Forces,” which emerged from the PKK, banned as a terrorist organization in Germany. The commander demanded that the German government exert stronger pressure on Erdogan and expand its own engagement in the region. “We also want Germany to take a greater role in reconstruction and in creating stability,” he said. He also said he wants to expand “security coordination” in the fight against terrorism. The SDF commander highlighted the ongoing threat from IS, which would become even greater in the event of a Turkish invasion. He said conditions in the Al Hol camp, where some 56,000 people are interned – a majority of them women and children – were a cause for concern. “IS is present there, there are daily beheadings,” the general said. He spoke of a “time bomb” and called for more foreign assistance to repatriate IS fighters and their families, as well as to improve conditions in prisons and internment camps.