“The Turkish government sees the Autonomous Administration of North-East Syria (AANES) as an obstacle,” said YPG spokesperson Nûrî Mehmûd to Yeni Özgür Politika in an interview.
Medyanews has already reported the controversial statements made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last Monday and the message he sent about a possible operation. Speaking to the media after a cabinet meeting in Ankara, Erdoğan signalled a new military operation in Syria.
“We have run out of patience. Turkey is determined to eliminate the threats from northern Syria, either together with forces active there, or by our own means,” he said.
Nuri Mehmûd, spokesperson for the People’s Defence Units (Yekîneyên Parastina Gel – YPG), discussed Turkey’s possible new attacks on North and East Syria and the latest developments in the region. In response to Erdoğan’s threats, Mehmûd stated that the YPG sees the people of Turkey as separate from President Erdoğan, but pointed out that Erdoğan has seized control of all the institutions in Turkey.
“Recently, Erdoğan’s statements have been accepted as law. He acts alone in Turkey’s name, leaving all institutions dysfunctional,” he said.
Noting that Turkey is becoming increasingly isolated due to the economic crisis it is struggling with internally and its loss of standing in external diplomacy, Mehmûd said, “Erdoğan did not get what he wanted from Biden or Putin either. With his latest statements he plans to create grounds for attacking Rojava in order to secure his power.”
Mehmûd stated that the deep crisis created by Erdoğan affected the Middle East as well as Russia, Europe and the US.
“I don’t think the US will listen to Erdoğan much any more. And Russia will not give up its interests,” he stated.
Nuri Mehmûd said that for a long time, everyone has been aware that Erdoğan’s plans A, B, C, and D are all to expand Turkey’s borders and in this context eliminate the status of the AANES.
“When he saw recently that ISIS had failed in this, he himself entered the field using the recources of the Turkish state. Erdoğan is using Turkey for his own aims. He sees it as a tool. Turkey’s internal security and external security are mere tools to Erdoğan. He seeks to establish the ‘Sultanate of Erdoğan’. He aims to increase his influence in the Middle East and strengthen his domination of the region.”
Mehmûd also gave examples from the two operations launched by Turkey in the previous years.
“Erdoğan is constantly looking for reasons to attack the Autonomous Administration. He has gathered around himself the remnants of ISIS and other gangs. He aims to finish the business quickly as he did in Afrin (Efrîn) and Ras al-Ayn (Serêkaniyê).”
Mehmûd reiterated that “the threats Erdoğan talks of from time to time, such as refugees and terrorism, have never been an issue at the border with Rojava”, though he mentions them occasionally, trying to convince the world, ready for further attacks.
He defines the operations as an invasion:
“Rather than aiming at Turkey’s interests and those of the Turkish people or destroying terrorism, he is conducting this invasion in order to save himself. Erdogan’s main purpose is to increase his votes and maintain his power by creating turmoil and an extraordinary situation.”
Explaining that it is Turkey that lays the plans for the actions of armed groups in the region, Nûrî Mehmûd said: “Gangs that are not accepted in Libya and Tunisia are protected by Turkey in Idlib and Aleppo in the Middle East, and used against the people of the region. Erdoğan is trying to make himself prominent through guarantorship, using the diplomatic weight of the Turkish state internationally. However, in practice, he is committing crimes against humanity.”
He also criciticised Russia and the US for remaining silent in the face of crimes committed by Turkey.
“As guarantors, the attitude of America and Russia is highly inadequate. They do not want to see what Turkey is doing in Efrîn, Jarablus, Ras al-Ayn and Aleppo. They are not fulfilling their role as guarantors against Turkey’s attacks.”
Finally, Mehmûd emphasised that Turkey does not like the idea of the establishment of national unity among the Kurds.
“Turkey aims to break the connection between Rojava and Iraqi Kurdistan, Turkey does not like the idea of national unity among the Kurds” he said, but added that Turkey cannot launch any attacks without NATO granting permission for the operations.