NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — In an interview with SyriacPress, spokesperson for the U.S.-led International Coalition Colonel Wayne Marotto commented on the partnership between the Coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) of North and East Syria.
“So far, the Coalition have worked in Syria and Iraq for seven years,” he said, indicating that the goal of their presence, which came at the invitation of the Iraqi government, is the elimination of the Islamic State (ISIS).
In cooperation with its partners, especially the SDF, the Coalition was able to eliminate ISIS after it had controlled tens of thousands of kilometers, an area equal to the size of Switzerland.
Col. Marotto added that ISIS now has only sleeper cells that kidnap, assassinate, and kill innocents, and the Coalition will continue their partnership with the SDF by providing logistical and intelligence support, as well as monitoring operations.
“We will commit to that partnership until ISIS is completely eliminated,” he added.
Regarding the actions and quality of the future Coalition–SDF partnership, Col. Marotto stated that the leaders of the Coalition, the U.S. President, and the Iraqi Prime Minister are the ones who formulate and determine future policy. However, at the present time, the Coalition will continue to secure all the requirements of the war against ISIS, and that the task itself has not changed.
“We know that ISIS widows in the camps implant ISIS mentality in the minds of ISIS children, which creates new generations of ISIS,” he asserted, adding that combating the poisonous ideology of ISIS is an essential element in ensuring the groups lasting defeat.
Regarding the recent attacks on the predominantly Syriac–Assyrian villages of the Khabur River Valley launched by Turkey and its Syrian National Army (SNA) proxies, Col. Marotto said that Turkey is one of the countries participating in the Coalition against ISIS and the decision to confront the Turkish violations is up to the Pentagon, the U.S. State Department, and the United States European Command (EUCOM).
He pointed out that the Coalition’s duty is to secure the lives of the region’s people, so that they can live freely and safely in their homelands.
Tel Tamr, the main population center of Khabur, is defended by the Syriac Military Council (Mawtbo Fulḥoyo Suryoyo, MFS), a member of the SDF, which, like Turkey, is a member of the Coalition against ISIS.