The Media Centre of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the armed force which defeated the Islamic State (ISIS) with the aerial, logistical and intelligence support of the International Coalition in Syria, dismissed claims by Turkey that they were behind any attacks targeting Turkish troops in or around areas under Turkish occupation.
The statement said that the Turkish administration, in an attempt to justify its own attacks targeting civilians and property in the perimeter of occupied areas in northern Syria were, ‘fabricated falsehoods and spreading of fake news’, including accusations against the SDF of conducting attacks against the Turkish army.
“We have previously stated on several occasions that our forces do not exist in the areas from which the occupation claims to have been attacked, and these false allegations come in the context of justifying Turkish attacks,” the statement said, continuing with a long list of the ceasefire violations carried out by Turkey.
“The Turkish occupation violated the de-escalation agreement more than 194 times in September alone, plus Turkish reconnaissance planes have violated the airspace of the region more than 21 times. During those violations, the occupation shelled the area with more than 1,067 mortars and artillery, killing five civilians and injuring six others. In addition, the occupation bombed five Syrian government bases, killing one soldier.”
The statement ended with a call: “We call on world public opinion, first and foremost the Turkish people, to know these facts and to be wary of the lies of the occupation.”
Turkish President Erdoğan had signaled a new incursion into northeast Syria on 11 October saying they’d run out of patience and were determined to eliminate the threats originating from north Syria, after two police officers were killed on the 10 October near the town of Mare in an attack.
The SDF statement followed a remark on Tuesday from the United States, both a NATO ally of Turkey and SDF’s ally in the war against ISIS.
When a journalist asked whether the US had any reactions to the comments of Turkish President Erdoğan blaming the People’s Protection Units (YPG) for the recent attacks in north Syria and signaling a new military operation, State Department spokesperson Ned Price underlined the need to ‘respect ceasefire zones’.
“We underscore the importance of maintaining ceasefire lines and halting cross-border attacks,” he said. “It is crucial for all sides to maintain and to respect ceasefire zones, to enhance stability in Syria, and to work towards a political solution to the conflict.”