Ferhad Şamî: We are ready to respond to any Turkish attack
SDF press spokesman Ferhad Şamî warned of an impending Turkish invasion and said: "We are ready to respond to any attack."
On 23 May, the Turkish regime leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced a new invasion in Northern and Eastern Syria and the occupation of the entire border strip up to 30 kilometers inland. In this ANF interview, the spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Ferhad Şamî, warned of an impending attack, although no visible movements had taken place at the front. At the same time, the Turkish intelligence agency MIT and its mercenary groups have launched an offensive of psychological warfare and propaganda.
Occupation on Turkish agenda since 2011
Since 2011, the Turkish state has been pursuing a plan to occupy a 30-kilometer strip along the border. "For the Turkish state, the attack is not a tool, but the goal," emphasized Şamî. "It's about occupying the territory of Syria. In order to legitimize the occupation of Northern and Eastern Syria, false claims are made, such as that our forces are launching attacks against Turkey. This is simply not true. Erdoğan and the Turkish state are pursuing the goal of realizing their 2011 plans.
Especially after the beginning of the Ukraine war, there were some internal problems in Turkey. At the same time, Turkey has difficulties with Russia, the US and other countries. Turkey does not want Syria to stabilize, it wants the war to continue, the population must be expelled. This is the reason for the threats and preparations for a new invasion.”
"We wait for an attack"
Regarding Erdoğan's announcement to launch a new invasion, Şamî says: "We don't know whether this attack will be local or broad and comprehensive. It's also too early to say if the attack will happen soon. At the moment there are no clear military movements on the fronts. No concentrations of troops are visible anywhere. But the Turkish state has already occupied a significant part of Syria. It is not only about north-eastern Syria, but also about a large area in north-western Syria. In the Turkish-occupied areas of Idlib, Afrin, Cerablus, Bab, Azaz, Serêkaniyê and Girê Spi there are more than 50,000 Turkish soldiers, tens of thousands of mercenaries and thousands of tanks.”
"An ISIS buffer zone is to be established"
Şamî described the Turkish state's plans to create an Islamic State buffer zone as a "black belt", reminding of the Syrian regime's Arab belt policy. "For this purpose, mercenaries from ISIS and similar groups are brought to the battle lines," emphasized Şamî. “Particularly in southern Afrin up to al-Bab, Cerablus and Minbij and west of Kobanê, mercenaries from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Jabhat al-Nusra), Hurras al-Din and ISIS are stationed. They are soon to be used against our forces and areas.”
Şamî also pointed to a coordinated propaganda attack and psychological warfare: “MIT and their mercenaries are spreading claims that new troops are being massed on the front lines. But there are no visible movements at the front. Nothing has changed in the positions of the international troops either. The international troops in our areas are still in the same position. There is no retreat. However, there has recently been an increase in movements in the Russian bases at Kobanê and Ain Issa. There is a possibility that both the movements of Russian troops on the ground and in the air will increase.”
"The reactions of the international forces should be stronger"
Ferhad Şamî said that talks were held with the representatives of the Russian troops, the US army and the international coalition present in the region about the danger of an invasion. He added: “They told us that they did not give the green light for a new invasion attack by the Turkish state. Some international powers reacted to the Turkish threats, but these reactions were not particularly serious. We have expressed our perspective to them. We called on them to take serious steps, both militarily and legally, and to take a clear stand against the Turkish state's threats of invasion."
"We will answer peace with peace and war with war"
Regarding the preparations against a possible invasion, Şamî said: "We have been preparing for a Turkish invasion for a long time. If there is an attack on our areas, this attack will not be limited to our areas. It will include more areas. A possible invasion attack by the Turkish state will not only harm our regions, but also affect the position of some international forces on the ground. In any case, the Turkish state will suffer a severe blow. Our slogan is ‘we answer peace with peace and war with war’. If an attack on our territories develops, if a war situation builds up, we will respond by waging a serious war.”