Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) commander Mazloum Abdi expressed concern over the United States’ silence on Turkish strikes, suggesting that it implies “unofficial approval.” In an interview with Al-Monitor on Saturday, Abdi revealed that despite “promises from Washington” to halt Turkey’s attacks in northern and eastern Syria, the assaults persist, leading him to believe in the “unofficial” endorsement from the US. He linked these actions to Washington’s leniency, possibly connected to Ankara’s support for Sweden’s NATO membership.
Abdi urged the United States to prevent any new sales of F-16s to Turkey, warning that such aircraft could be utilized to target civilian infrastructure. Turkey views the SDF and its main component, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), as affiliated with the designated terrorist organization Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The recent air campaign, initiated after a PKK attack in northern Iraq resulted in the death of 12 Turkish soldiers, underscores Ankara’s perception of a threat emanating from both northern Iraq and northern and eastern Syria. This ongoing campaign marks the second in the region since last October, with the initial response following a PKK attack on the Interior Ministry building in Ankara three months ago.
Notably, Turkish airstrikes have specifically targeted economic facilities controlled by the SDF and oil and gas fields in the region. Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan’s declaration that “all facilities used by the PKK and the YPG in northern and eastern Syria have become legitimate targets” has guided this focus.
Abdi highlighted additional challenges, citing the involvement of the Syrian regime and Iran, aiming to rally Arab tribes allied with the SDF, as seen in the recent unrest in Deir-ez-Zor. The SDF, backed by the United States, faced heightened tension when Washington shot down a Turkish drone during the October campaign. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the relationship between the US and what he referred to as “terrorist organizations,” vowing to continue operations in northern Syria and northern Iraq.
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.