Syrian Democratic Forces Spokesperson Aram Hanna: “We have taken all necessary measures to protect the people of the region from any new Turkish operation”

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — Official spokesperson for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Aram Hanna stated that they have taken all necessary measures to protect the peoples of North and East Syria in the event that Turkey launches a new military operation. He called on the international community to take a decisive stance on the Turkish attacks and warned of the negative consequences for the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) if they continue.

Hanna said that Turkey is determined to carry out a new ground invasion in the region despite all indications from the Russians and Americans that they are not supportive of one. They have stated their positions weakly so far, he added, saying that their denunciations must be stronger in the face of continued Turkish threats.

Hanna explained that the Turkish attacks threaten all ethnic and religious components of the region, especially the Syriac (Aramean–Assyrian–Chaldean) people. Turkey wants to replicate what it did in the cities of Rish Ayno (Ras al-Ayn) and Tel Abyad when it occupied them, namely displace the local population, which included Syriacs (Arameans–Assyrians–Chaldeans), Kurds, Arabs, Yezidis, and Armenians, and replace them with people loyal to Ankara. Turkey’s 2018 invasion of Cafrin (Afrin) also deliberately emptied the region of its original inhabitants.

Hanna continued that the SDF desire is to achieve peace and stability in the region, as the SDF defeated the most violent terrorist organizations known to humanity, ISIS, in pursuit of that goal.

He also indicated that it is not possible to achieve common goals with the US-led International Coalition in the event that ISIS continues to receive support, direct or indirect, from the NATO member Turkey. Turkey claims that it is striking the region with the aim of combating terrorism, Hanna said, but on the contrary, it supports terrorism. 

Regarding the meetings held between the SDF and Russia, Hanna stated that they have only received promises to attempt to reduce escalations within the framework of maintaining stability and preventing any aggression.

The international community must take a firm stance against Turkey’s desire to expand the territory it occupies and respect the blood of the martyrs that was spilled to defend this land from extremism on behalf of the whole world, Hanna concluded.