SDF commander commends EP call for Turkey to withdraw from Syria

Commander in chief of the majority-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Mazloum Abdi, has commended the European Parliament for calling on Turkey to withdraw from Syria.

“We welcome the EU parliament’s resolution,” Abdi said in a tweet on Saturday, “and share the EU parliament's concerns over ethnic cleansing attempts by Turkey against Kurds in Syria.”

The EP, in a resolution dated March 11, said Turkey was illegally occupying parts of northern Syria in violation of international law, and called on Ankara to withdraw troops from the area.

Turkish Parliamentary Speaker Mustafa Şentop said in response that the EP not reacting to “terrorist acts” by Syrian Kurdish groups was disappointing, and called on the European body to support Turkey, “which has opened its doors to 3.7 million Syrians, and protects the borders of NATO and Europe, respects international law, and supports the political process in Syria”.

In the resolution the European Parliament stressed “the significant contribution made by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as an ally in the fight against ISIL/Daesh”, and said it was “worried that Turkey’s ongoing displacements could amount to ethnic cleansing against the Syrian Kurdish population.”

“Turkey’s illegal invasion and occupation has jeopardised peace in Syria, the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean,” the EP said.