On Saturday, Sweden announced the cessation of its support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militias. This came two days before the visit of Sweden’s prime minister to Turkey to conduct negotiations on the Kingdom’s accession to NATO. The militias continued the campaign of arrests they began a few days ago against the residents of the town of Jadida Bakara in the eastern countryside of Deir-ez-Zor. They had previously prevented a convoy of US occupation forces from entering the town.
Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström explained in an interview with a Swedish radio that his new government no longer calls for “unconditional” support for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia, which forms the backbone of the SDF and represents the armed arm of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). This development appears to be Sweden’s compliance with the conditions of the Turkish regime, which impedes the latter’s accession to NATO until it stops its support for militias that the regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan considers terrorist and that the United States sees as its ally.
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Billström, on the eve of his country’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson’s visit to Ankara on Tuesday for negotiations with the Turkish side on the kingdom’s accession to NATO, added: “There are close contacts and relations between these two organizations and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations. We care about the absence of ambiguous contacts with these two organizations on the part of the Kingdom, and it is important that Sweden maintains a long distance from these organizations. According to observers, we need good relations with Turkey, which seems to be a blow to the SDF, which is begging for the support of European countries.
This coincided with the SDF’s ongoing attempts to open and improve relations with European countries by exploiting and investing the nationals of these countries it holds inside the camps it runs in northern and northeastern Syria, especially in al-Hol camp, southeast of the city of Hassakeh, according to t Athr Press.
According to the website, the SDF, through its so-called “Foreign Relations Authority” to “intensify” communication with European countries to hand over the nationals of these countries detained in the camps, the majority of whom are women who are wives and children of ISIS militants.
The website recalled the entry of delegations from Germany and the Netherlands into the city of Qamishli over the past days and the receipt of several women and children held by the SDF, while the Australian government announced at the beginning of last week the return of 4 women and 13 children of Australian nationality.
On the other hand, the SDF continued the campaign of arrests that it began a few days ago and targeted villages and towns in the countryside of Deir-ez-Zor governorate after protesters prevented a convoy of the US occupation from entering the town of Jdeidet Bakara in the east of the province and throwing stones at it.
A local source from the region said that the arrest campaign came after residents of the town of Jdeidet Bakara intercepted a U.S. patrol on the first of this month and threw stones at it, forcing the patrol to change its route, according to opposition websites.
The passage of the American patrol at the time coincided with protests by the townspeople against the deterioration of the living situation in the SDF-controlled areas and the rampant corruption in its districts. News accounts published “leaked” audio recordings of the leader of the so-called Deir-ez-Zor Military Council of the SDF, Ahmed al-Khabeel, nicknamed Abu Khawla, in which he threatened to use weapons against protesters who intercepted the route of the American convoy in Jdeidet Bakara.
The opposition Euphrates Eye Network said that the arrest campaign extended to the northern countryside of Deir-ez-Zor, where groups of the SDF cut off the road connecting the villages of Maaizila and al-Izba from the side of the town of Tyre and prevented the entry or exit of residents from the area.
This was preceded by an arrest campaign launched by the SDF in villages east of Deir-ez-Zor, on October 28th, with the support of the so-called “international coalition” aircraft. It included the areas of Ziban and Hawija, targeting the homes of the al-Askar family and searching the town’s houses for “wanted.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.