Mazloum Abdi, the General Commander of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in north Syria, said in a press conference on Friday that a Turkish military campaign against their forces was likely to disrupt the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).
Speaking at a press conference in the city of Hasakah, Abdi noted that Turkey’s threats directed at the towns of Tell Rifat, Manbij and Kobane (Ayn al-Arab) began on 23 May and are still continuing.
Stressing that one of the objectives of a possible Turkish attack would be to disrupt the fight against ISIS, he warned that an attack would indeed have such an impact.
The SDF has been waging a fight against ISIS since 2015 in Syria as part of the International Coalition led by the United States.
Abdi also stated that Turkish forces and their proxies have already been conducting relatively small-scale attacks in recent weeks, and that six civilians including two children have been killed and nine injured by Turkish drone strikes in the past month. He added that a further 22 armed drone attacks have been carried out, and six ground assaults were attempted by Turkey within the same period of time.
He said that although international reactions to Turkey’s threats have not been not sufficient to prevent the latter’s attacks, there have been remarkable efforts by Russia to restrain Turkey’s aggression, and some Syrian troops have recently been deployed around Tell Rifat and Kobane in response to its threats.
“If Turkey launches an attack, the situation will not be as experienced in the last three years,” he said. “Our forces have reinforced their defences. We will respond and put up resistance over a wide area to stop the Turkish forces.”