Despite provocations, Syrian Democratic Forces General Commander Abdi open to dialogue with Turkey

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — In an interview with Al-Monitor, General Commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mazloum Abdi indicated that a negotiated political solution with the Syrian government is currently unlikely.

In response to a question about the Russian-mediated joint talks between the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) and the Syrian government, Abdi stated that the Syrian government is not ready for a solution to the country’s political crisis due to its inability to abandon the Baath Party mentality.

Russia must pressure the Syrian government in order to achieve peace, said Abdi, indicating that they are in constant contact with government forces because of their presence in the region.

Regarding the role of the Syrian government and Iran in North and East Syria, Abdi revealed that both are working in coordination in the SDF area and trying to provoke the Arab tribes against SDF forces. The SDF have informed Syrian government and Iranian officials of their dissatisfaction with their efforts to destabilize the region.

Regarding his willingness to hold joint talks with Turkey, Abdi explained that this depends on Turkey’s intentions, stressing that the SDF want peace and stability in the region.

“If Turkey is ready to take steps that lead to a real solution then I, as SDF General Commander, am ready for dialogue,” he concluded. Though open to dialogue with Turkey, Abdi also recalled the Syrian territory still under disastrous Turkish occupying, including Azaz, Al-Bab, Cafrin (Afrin), Rish Ayno (Ras al-Ayn), and Tal Abyad, and the hundreds of thousands of displaced people from those areas.