Saleh Moslem: Turkey will fail in Syria

PYD Co-President Saleh Moslem criticized the Turkish army’s invasion of Jarablus and said that Turkey would fail in Syria.

Democratic Union Party (PYD) Co-President who spoke to ANF described the Turkish army’s incursion into Jarablus as an occupation. Moslem stated that enmity towards Kurdish people was at the center of Turkey’s policies, and pointed out that the Turkish state was trying to finish off the task ISIS failed to do. Moslem warned that Turkey would fail in Syria and be even more isolated from the rest of the world because of its enmity towards Kurdish people, and criticized the role Barzani has been playing in the region.


A sudden ceasefire was declared on August 24 as Turkey and its affiliates were attacking Jarablus? What led to this situation?

Turkey has been increasing its attacks on Kurdish people as ISIS attacks on Rojava were repelled over the past few years. After the liberation of Manbij, Turkish officials thought that Jarablus would be next and began their invasion in order to prevent the liberation of the town. Frankly, they thought that they could finish off the task ISIS has failed to do. Turkey’s attack on Jarablus aims to save ISIS and similar gang groups. Mediators intervened in the clashes and the Jarablus Military Council agreed to join the ceasefire.

Which agreements led to the ceasefire?

We do not know the details of the ceasefire, but what is happening is more like a pause in the clashes.

So it is not a ceasefire?

No, the clashes stopped before in tacit way before the upcoming period unfolds.

What does Turkey want to do in Syria?

Turkey’s main strategy is based on the denial of Kurdish people. Its plans on Rojava and other parts of Kurdistan have been serving this purpose. Turkey’s main concern is to prevent the Kurds from gaining their rights. This is why Turkish officials went to Russia, Iran, and personally visited Bashar al-Assad with whom they have been actively fighting. However, this policy does not serve Kurdish or Turkish interests. What have they gained from supporting ISIS as so many people died and towns got destroyed? Nothing. Today, the entire world accuses Turkey of terrorism.

We have met Turkish officials several times so far. Kurdish people want to establish a future with the peoples they live together. We just want our democratic rights. Today, we control most of the border with Turkey in Rojava. We have not fired a single bullet, and there is no sign of danger from us. Despite this, they insisted on their policy and got isolated. Now they attack Jarablus, and continue to insist on a failed policy.


The Turkish President Erdoğan groups together the PYD and ISIS, and said yesterday that Turkey would eradicate the PYD. Yesterday, a ceasefire was announced…

Erdoğan’s policies are short-termed. PYD is an organization from Rojava, Syria – not Turkey. He has no right to say that. Arabs, Assyrians and other peoples established a system, why is he interfering with it! He loves talking about the sovereignty of Turkey, what is he threatening the sovereignty of other people and countries? Why does he support ISIS and other gang groups? The groups that Turkey supports in Jarablus are all linked to Jabhat al-Nusra. If international powers are silent about this, it is because they have their own plans.

What kind of plans?

International powers are silent because they think Erdoğan is over-confident and let him invade so that he learns his lesson. Under normal conditions, the US does not support Turkey.

Does Turkey want to create a buffer zone in the region?

This is what it has been wanting, but it is not possible. The US and other powers are laughing at Turkey. Turkey’s goal in creating a buffer zone is changing the demographic structure of the region and expelling the Kurds. Everyone knows this.

Are they luring Turkey into Syria?

Yes, exactly. They want Turkey to enter Syria, but it will not be able to get out of it.

Did the YPG withdraw from the west of the Euphrates River?

YPG had announced its withdrawal from the region a week ago, but Syrian Democratic Forces and Manbij and Jarablus Military Councils are still there. YPG had already announced its withdrawal from Manbij and turned over the control of the town to military and civilian town assemblies.

Is the unification of Kobanê and Efrîn cantons suspended?


Do you have any knowledge of Kurdish people living to the west of Aleppo and Efrîn?

Half of the villages to the north of Aleppo are Kurdish villages. Ahrar al-Sham kills the Kurdish residents of the villages it raids in Efrîn. These attacks target the Kurds, not other people. This is genocide. They are trying to expel Kurdish people from there. This policy is also implemented in the region to the west of Jarablus; they are expelling Kurdish people. How will militants from Tunisia and other parts of the world know who lives in Jarablus? Groups that are affiliated with Turkey carry out these policies; Turkey gives them this mission?

Is Raqqa operation on your agenda?

If it is up to us, we will liberate entire Syria. But Raqqa is more urgent, since it is right next to us. For us, Raqqa is as important as Manbij. We must expel ISIS from there. Raqqa is also a priority for international powers. When and how Raqqa operation will take place depends on the preparations there.


At what stage are the preparations for the North Syria Federation?

People are accepting the North Syria Federation project, but there are problems with its realization because it is new. There are minor problems due to the existing nation-state mentality. However, prejudices end when people see the project themselves. Particularly, Arabs and other groups in recently liberated areas accept this system. This is a process of acceptance. Currently, there is an embargo on Rojava laid by Turkey and South Kurdistan. They want to starve the population of Rojava, and did not lay such an embargo even when ISIS was controlling the region.


You said that South Kurdistan was laying an embargo. Massoud Barzani visited Turkey right before Jarablus Operation. This was widely debated, what are your views?

This visit and meeting was very unfortunate. It is bad if he partnered up with Turkey. With this visit, he expressed his partnership with Turkey. It is unfortunate for him to openly act in alliance with the enemy of his people. We wish the visit had not happened.