Syrian Kurds determined to defend Afrin against Turkey

A Syrian Kurdish commander in the northwestern Syrian town of Afrin declared his forces ready to defend the region against Turkey, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called for their surrender.

The chair of Afrin Defence Council, Bahçet Ebdo, was quoted by Turkey’s Kurdish news agency Mezopotamya as saying that both Russia and the United States know the strength of their forces.

Ebdo said:

For the last seven years, Turkey and Turkish-backed groups have been attacking us. But we became stronger and formed a professional force. We have increased our preparations in 2017, and we are ready to resist.

We are the owners of this land, and we will defend it to the end. This is our message to the whole world.

The Kurdish forces have fought against the Islamic State and are now determined to establish their democratic federal state in Syria, said Ebdo.

The commander added that both the U.S. and Russia supported the Syrian people's decision on their own future.

“This is why,” he said, “Russia invited our representatives to the Sochi meetings next month despite Turkey’s protests.”