YPG Commander: Attacks on Efrîn will hinder the Raqqa operation

YPG Commander General Sipan Hemo commented on the Raqqa operation, attacks on Efrîn and Shehba and relationships with the US, Russia and the Damascus administration.

YPG Commander General Hemo pointed out that the Turkish state, while continuing their invasion attempt, suffers damages every day and said, “Our resistance will continue.” Hemo criticized Russia’s policies and stressed that the Coalition forces who want to end terror support the SDF.

Commenting commented on the recent developments in Rojava and Syria, YPG Commander General touched upon the strategic importance of the Raqqa operation and pointed out the positions of the US, Russia, Turkey and Syria in the region.

YPG Commander General Sipan Hemo answered ANF’s questions on the international balance, Syria plans, Turkish state’s invasion attempts on the Efrîn/Shehba region and the Raqqa operation.


As Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) try to take Raqqa under control, they display an immense resistance against ISIS gangs. At what level is your alliance with the US and the Coalition forces?

The importance of the resistance against ISIS terror and their supporters in Rojava and Syria are well known. SDF’s operation in Raqqa continues successfully. Our fighters resist the ISIS gangs and are trying to take the city center under control and liberate the civilians. 8 strategic neighborhoods have been saved from ISIS terror. We are conducting the Raqqa operation, followed by many international media outlets, together with the Coalition forces. It is an operation that matches the one in Mosul. The main purpose is to swiftly put an end to ISIS terrorism. In this sense, the Coalition forces who want to end terror support the SDF, and we conduct the operations in coordination.


The Regime forces did not take part in the Raqqa operation. Is this part of an agreement you made with Russia and the Regime? Meanwhile, Russia is said to be stationing military units in the city.

The SDF is in a long-haul struggle to save Raqqa from ISIS gangs, along with the US and Coalition forces. After Tabqa’s liberation, Coalition forces ad HSD forces launched the Raqqa operation in a joint decision. Russia was never to participate in the operation since the beginning. Plans and programs for the Raqqa operation are made by our forces, there is no alliance with Regime forces. The Regime forces or any other forces for that matter don’t have any ties to the Raqqa operation. The operation continues with the resistance and sacrifice of SDF forces, and occasionally tensions rise with the Regime forces around Raqqa and Tabqa. We held meetings so these would not turn into large-scale fighting. Coordination and plans were prepared for the locations to be controlled by the Coalition forces, Russia and the Regime forces. For the Raqqa issue, forces like the US and Russia notify others of their actions. The US acts together with the SDF, and Russia acts in planning with the Regime. What the forces in the region will control has been discussed. Regime forces didn’t act according to the plan and the program. They bombed SDF positions, and in return the US downed one of their aircrafts.

The Turkish state continues their invasion plans for Rojava and Northern Syria in the Efrîn/Shehba region. Doesn’t this pose a threat for the YPG forces? Why does the Turkish state want to prevent the Raqqa operation? And, what do you think about Russia’s stance on the invasion?

It is clear what the Turkish state wants to achieve in Northern Syria. They are trying to prolong their invasion plans and scenarios. And our resistance to stop and end the Turkish invasion also continues. Our resistance is spreading. Russia acts in line with their own interests in the region. They are trying to put their political and diplomatic efforts to the forefront at all times. On one hand they don’t accept, and on the other they are trying to build alliances. They occasionally enter alliances with the Turkish state, and then tell them they can’t enter Syrian territory. Russia has tried to clear Damascus, Dera, Homs and the outskirts of Aleppo with help from the Turkish state since 2011. They eased the pressure on the Regime forces as well. Russia’s relationship with the Turkish state changes according to tactical gains. As the SDF, we do not think Russia’s approach is appropriate. Russia’s policies are politics of interest that go against the gains made by our people and the Syrian revolution. We don’t think this is right. Every force has a right to do politics, but nobody can do it over the blood of our people.


What is the scenario Turkey dreams of in Syria? How will the YPG/YPJ forces resist the Turkish invasion?

Since the Rojava revolution started, the Turkish state has tried to force denial and invasion policies on our people. They were planning on how to defeat the Rojava revolution, how to remove the Kurds from Syria, and other such projects. These are very dangerous projects. Our forces in Rojava and Northern Syria see this danger. They want to eliminate our people. Our forces are prepared for their plans. As the Turkish state tries to put their plans in motion over Efrîn/Shehba with FSA groups, the YPG and Revolutionary Forces work against these plans of attack. The Ayn Daqna attacks were a large-scale plan. They wanted to take the Efrîn/Shehba region under control. Our forces retaliated as necessary. The Turkish state was directly hit. Their FSA groups are hit every day in Efrîn/Shehba. They have many losses. This is due to the historic resistance and resolve of our forces. Our resistance will continue. In the coming period, we will liberate all of our cities under invasion. We shared some necessary issues with the Coalition forces on this matter. If the Turkish state intensifies their invasion attacks on Efrîn/Shehba, the Raqqa operation will not continue. As it is known, the main defense force of the Shehba region the Jaysh Al-Thuwar is fighting in Raqqa now. They have openly stated this as well. They said if attacks on their territory intensify, it makes no sense to fight in Raqqa. So we act in accordance with this understanding.