Turkish armed forces and Syrian rebels pushed Daesh out of Jarablus within hours, despite previous unsuccessful attempts to free the border town since 2013, prompting Syrian Kurds to suspect that something was fishy with Ankara’s military incursion into the neighboring nation.
Abd Salam Muhammad Ali, a representative of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Russia, told Vzglyad that Turkish troops took control of Jarablus encountering almost no resistance. “Judging from how fast this ‘liberation’ took place, I have grounds to believe that this is a show. The militants shaved off their beards and rushed to join ‘moderates,'” he said.
The officials described Turkey’s operation as “a violation of Syria’s sovereignty.”
Abd Salam Muhammad Ali did not provide details on how the PYD plans to respond to Ankara’s activities in northern Syria. “Military leaders of the Syrian Kurdistan are most likely working on a plan to counter Turkey’s invasion. The only thing that I can say is that we are firmly against Ankara’s meddling in Syrian affairs,” he said.
Turkey launched its offensive, formally known as Operation Euphrates Shield, early on Wednesday to cleanse the border area around Jarablus of Daesh and prevent the Syrian Kurds from advancing further west. Ankara maintains that both pose a major security threat to the wellbeing of the Turks.
Rodi Osman, the head of Syrian Kurdistan’s representative office in Moscow, was also wary of how fast and easy the operation to retake Jarablus appeared.
“If Daesh was not Erdogan’s ally, could [Turkish troops and Free Syrian Army fighters] seize the city within hours? The United States and others have to see Erdogan’s secret thoughts. We are persistent in pursuing our anti-Daesh strategy and will fight against the militants until the end. The international community needs to know the truth. As long as Erdogan stays there, Daesh will not go anywhere,” he said.
Osman said that the Turks launched an operation in Syria in response to the victory of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Manbij. The SDF, largely made up of Kurdish fighters, liberated the strategically important city on August 12 following a weeks-long operation.
The official further noted that Turkey plans to take the border region in northern Syria under its control, but added that the Kurds will not let Ankara redraw the Syrian borders.
“By no means will we allow Turkey to turn northern Syria into a second Cyprus,” he said. “Turkey has no right to cross the Syrian border and interfere into the country’s internal affairs.”