The member of the General Command of the Syrian Democratic Forces(SDF), Newroz Ahmed, revealed the Turkish plan to occupy 32 km of the Syrian lands saying:” in the event of an attack by the Turkish state, the response will be decisive and every place will turn into a battlefield.”
Threats of the Turkish state continue in the north and east of Syria targeting all Syrian components under the pretext of establishing the so-called “safe area” at a depth of 32 km. The administration of north and east of Syria provided some conditions regarding the “safe area” as follows: The safe area should be 5 km deep on the border and more outside the cities and not under the control of the Turkish state. The Autonomous Administration said that Turkish troops can make joint patrols with coalition patrols on the border and in empty areas. This proposal was discussed by the concerned authorities. If this condition is applied, the return of the Afrin residents forcibly removed to their areas must be implemented.
Statistics of border cities “safe area”
All Syriac, Kurds, Arabs , Yezidis, Turkomans, Armenians, Circassians and Chechens live in Syria. The north-east of Syria means al-Jazeera and the Euphrates regions, al-Jazeera region consists of 2 canton Qamishlo and al-Hasakah, while the Euphrates region consists of Kobani and “Gire Spi”/ Tal Abyad. And the towns on the border strip of the safe area being discussed, Kobani, Serekaniye, Darbasiyah, Amouda, Qamishlo, Terbispia and Derik.
Turkish state practices from 2011 until 2019 on the border
The violations of the Turkish state on the northern and eastern regions of Syria are increasing day after day, and through these practices, the legitimacy of the so-called safe area is being tried in many ways.
The question is who needs a safe area at this stage?
The crimes of the Turkish state since 2011 up to now according to the statistics of the human rights organization in al-Jazeera, which the organization documented (apart from its practices in Afrin): 223 people were killed, 3 members were robbed, dozens were raped and abducted, 15 people were subjected to torture. In addition, the residents of 129 border villages were prevented from planting and harvesting their seasonal crops with a land area of approximately 27,633.1 dunums.
In this context, the member of the General Command of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Newroz Ahmed, answered ANHA’s questions regarding the threats of the Turkish state and the Turkish military buildup on the northern and eastern borders of Syria recently.
How did the “safe zone” begin?
We never addressed the issue of the safe area, because our areas are safe by nature, but after Daesh defeat, some forces wanted to control the region, but these forces did not succeed in achieving their goals. We have had relations with some neighboring countries such as Turkey, even if they are not official but at a high level. The Turkish state is better informed that we have never attacked its borders, and we have had no attempts to create a threat to Turkish state policy, but the severity of the threats the Turkish state has increased in recent times. In the words of its leaders, ” The Kurds got a role in Başûr Kurdistan, they will get it here too, but we will never allow them on our borders,” this is the real objective of the Turkish state of these threats.”
How is the safe area on the agenda?
We do not aim to attack the Turkish state, and we are working to repel attacks against our people at home, but the Turkish state always remembers that it does not want such a force on its borders. The safe area is on the agenda of discussions with Turkish threats. We, as the forces of protection and as the people of this region, say that our region is one of the most safe areas, that our people live in safety, live with their identity and free will. In addition, there are large numbers of displaced people living in our areas.
What does Turkey want from the realization of the safe area?
We do not want the continuation of the war on our land, and the pretexts that the Turkish state raises for us to solve by dialogue. The Turkish state occupies the land of another country before the eyes of the world, the state of al-Bab, Azzaz, Idlib and Afrin clear to the world. Now the Turkish state wants to occupy northern and eastern Syria. Our regions are safe, but we are open to a safe area, and we do not want our people to face new wars. As far as possible, we want to reach a result with these forces, that means being satisfied with the removal of the reasons and the pretext of the Turkish state.
Do you accept Turkey’s supervision over the safe area?
We can form border protection forces and ensure that no attack takes place on our part, but the Turkish state prevents the people of this region from protecting themselves, and we do not accept the protection of an external force for this area. Everyone should know that the Turkish state cannot survive in the region. It has killed a lot of our people, and this people cannot accept the Turkish state in this region.
What is the purpose of occupying the territory of northern and eastern Syria at a depth of 32 km?
The Turkish state plans to impose 32 km on its relations with some forces and the Syrian regime. According to the plan, 32 km will be under the control of the Turkish state. Other forces will enter southern Syria. And thus they want to divide the region among themselves, and eliminate all the achievements and gains achieved by the great sacrifices of the people of the region.
Is the mercenaries attacks have a relationship with the threats of the Turkish state?
Attacks by mercenaries are intensifying as the Turkish state’s threats to the region intensify, and this has become apparent recently. This indicates that the goal of the Turkish state is to revive mercenaries for control of the region and creating tension and instability. The families of Daesh said in the camps there that they would be active again. According to the intelligence we obtained, the sleeping cells said, “We will take revenge and we will return soon.” This is a great danger not only for the region but also for the world. We have managed to reduce the risk of arresting them, but in reality it is also difficult for us this situation there is a need to prosecute the international mercenaries of Daesh.
You met with the Central Command of the US Army in the Middle East, “Kenneth Mackenzie, and the International Alliance’s envoy against Daesh William Rubak, at what level was the dialogue between you, and how was the result?
We discussed with the US leaders the Turkish threats, our conditions for the “safe area” and the means of dialogue for the solution and the sleeping cells of Daesh. The US side focused on finding common solutions without entering the region by war. The position of the Turkish State hampers the solution, even if the recent talks have not reached a conclusion but are continuing.
The position of our people in northern and eastern Syria is a matter of appreciation and respect. The people are well aware that the objective of these threats is not only the Kurds, but the goal is to eliminate the brotherhood of the people of the region,we have achieved great achievements thanks to the support of our people in the difficult and critical stages, and we will protect our areas with our people on the ground, and we will protect it from the attacks of the Turkish state. We are open to dialogue, and we support attempts at a solution, but if necessary, we are ready to resist everywhere.
The Turkish media has been talking about the return of the Syrian refugees recently. Before the occupation of Afrin, the Turkish state was also making these absurd pretexts. What is the reason for this trading at this stage?
In order for the Turkish state to incite its attacks on the region, the situation of the displaced is publicized, but the people are not displaced to Turkey but live on their land. There are a large number of those who were accomplices to the Turkish and fled to Turkey. When Gire Spi released some small groups fled with the Free Army to Turkey. The Turkish State cannot take the return of these people as a pretext that they have been displaced from their land and must return. The Turkish state wants to take this as a platform for its attacks and legitimize it under this curtain, but it will not success.
How will your strategy be to respond to a possible attack?
If the Turkish state does not choose the dialogue for a solution, we will be prepared for war. If an attack is launched on any region, this attack will not be limited to this region. Rather, the long border with the Turkish state will become a region of war. What the Turkish state has done in Afrin wants to repeat it in other areas gradually. Of course, the war will pose great dangers to the people. There are millions of civilians and different components living on this land. This war will change the balance of the entire region. There are various forces in Syria and even the Syrian regime will try to regain control of the region, as well as there are Iranian forces and groups of mercenaries and still remain a significant threat to the region. If such a war took place, mercenaries would benefit and continue to practice their terrorism, and there would be thousands of displaced people in the camps, and this war would be a great threat to their lives. In addition, there are detainees from mercenaries, especially those arrested in the Deir ez-Zor campaign.
Do you have meetings with the Syrian regime regarding the threats of the Turkish state.
We have had some meetings with the Syrian regime in the past, but he wants to control all areas as if nothing happened and even impose conditions. The Syrian regime is trying to accuse us of cooperating with foreign powers, as if we were the ones who brought foreign forces to Syrian territory. this is not true. Even the Syrian regime knows very well that we have not brought external forces to our regions, and the current situation is the result of what the region has experienced.
In fact, the mentality of the Syrian regime was the reason for the entry of external forces into Syrian territory. The regime has sometimes declared its positions through media statements against the threats of the Turkish state, but the mentality has not changed towards the peoples of the region. We insist on holding meetings to change the mentality of denial and liquidation. These attacks pose a danger to the Syrian regime as well, because in the end it will occupy part of the Syrian territory. When Turkey attacks, the regime will not be able to discuss or resolve the issue, but the situation will be complicated. In short, we had some meetings with the Syrian regime, but unfortunately, we have not obtained results.
Tomorrow: The activities of the stage of formation of the Autonomous Administration and the threat looming over it.