Dec 19 2017

Assad "declared war" on Kurds with "traitors" remark - SDF

Syrian President Bashar Assad dubbing the Syrian Democratic Forces "traitors" was a "declaration of war", the U.S.-backed Kurdish group said in a statement.

Responding to a question on cooperation between the Kurds and the U.S. on Monday, Assad was quoted by Syria’s state-run news agency SANA as saying that no ethnic or religious group was uniform, but “those who work under the command of any foreign country in their own country and against their army and people are traitors, that is our evaluation of the groups that work for the Americans in Syria.”

In response, a civilian committee under the SDF, called the Executive Board for the Democratic Federation Building Council of North Syria, released a statement that said:

“Assad’s statement means a declaration of war. It indicates a secret deal between the Erdoğan and Assad governments that allows Turkey’s occupation of Syria.”

The statement, quoted by the Kurdish news agency ANF, said the SDF is the “will of the Syrian people,” and that therefore targeting it would mean that meetings for a settlement in Syria were in vain.