Jun 08 2018

We are powerful enough to defend Manbij - fmr PYD chair

Salih Muslim, former co-chair of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) told to German News Agency (DPA) that Kurds decide on their alliances in Syria according to their interests and have the forces to defend the Syrian town of Manbij, Şarkul Avsat reported on Friday.

Muslim answered the question about the recent deal struck between Turkey and the U.S. on Monday, which included the withdrawal of Kurdish forces from the town. Turkey sees SDF and its armed forces People’s Protection Units (YPG) as a terrorist organisation affiliated to Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has been fighting inside Turkey for more that 30 years.

Ankara launched a military operation against the YPG in the northwest Syrian enclave of Afrin in January and has pushed the United States to force the YPG and affiliated forces out of Manbij, where U.S. special forces troops are stationed.

“Eventually, we are not confined to the U.S.’s decisions. The Americans decide according to their interests. Similarly, we have alliances established according to our own interests. We are no one’s slave or servant,” Muslim told to DPA.

He added that they could form alliances with anyone that suited their interests, including the U.S., Russia, and the Syrian regime.

Muslim noted that Afrin had been handed to Turkey in exchange for the evacuation of Syrian rebels in East Ghouta. “Now the U.S. and Turkey have decided for an alliance over Manbij. However, we have one military and one civilian council there which make the decisions for Manbij. Those councils have the forces to defend Manbij,” Muslim said.

According to Muslim, the U.S. had made concessions to Turkey to protect its own interests. “But our resistance there continues. Everything is possible. Our alliances will not be limited to only one country,” he added.