SDF press spokesman Şamî: Our task is to guarantee peace

SDF press spokesman Ferhad Şamî reports that the Turkish attacks on northeast Syria increased towards the end of the year. The task of the SDF, he added, is to guarantee peace.

The attacks by the Turkish state and its mercenaries on Northern and Eastern Syria continue. Thirteen civilians, including children, have been killed by armed drones in the past few weeks. Many more civilians were injured. Most recently, on 8 January, one person was killed and 12 others injured in attacks on the villages of Elîşar, Til Hacib, Qeremox, Xanî, Serzûrî and Gultepe near Kobanê. In an interview with Mezopotamya News Agency (MA), the spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Ferhad Şamî, assessed the ongoing attacks on the region and criticized the silence of the guarantor powers on the deadly attacks on the civilian population.

2021: Attacks by IS and Turkish troops

Şamî said that the year 2021 was marked by many attacks carried out by the Turkish occupation forces, their mercenaries and ISIS. "It was a year during which our forces carried out hundreds of operations against the Islamic State. Northern and Eastern Syria is an important position in this struggle. If the Autonomous Administration had not fought against ISIS and the other mercenary troops, there would have been heavy and negative consequences for everyone. The people of the world respect the struggle of the peoples here. In addition to ISIS, the region was also attacked by Turkey. It is no coincidence that Turkey has expanded attacks in parallel with the IS attacks in the region. In 2021 there were attacks in many places, especially in Kobanê. These  continued throughout the year. The peoples of the region have expanded their struggle for a lasting peace and against the attacks by ISIS under the leadership of the SDF. If you look at our balance sheet for the year 2021, you can see the dimensions of this resistance."

"The aim is to intimidate the population"

Regarding the attacks on Til Temir, Zirgan and Kobanê, which began in December 2021 and continues to this day, Şamî said: “There are attacks in many areas. These are carried out using different methods. There are informers at work in the region and attempts are made to recruit new informers. These attacks have many goals. Most of the attacks are directed against the civilian population and not against military structures. People in the region were targeted. One aim of the attacks is to intimidate the population. They want to force people to withdraw their support of the Autonomous Administration. The attacks on Til Temir and Zirgan are no ordinary attacks. Syriacs, people of the Christian faith, live there. ISIS committed mass murders of Armenians and Yazidi people. The Turkish state now wants to expel the people from the region. After the liberation of the region [from ISIS], many people returned home. Now the Turkish state wants to drive them out again. If the Turkish state and its mercenaries get the chance, they will commit mass murders."

"The population does not bow"

Since 20 November 2021, 13 civilians have been killed in Turkish attacks on Northern and Eastern Syria. Dozens were injured. Şamî said: “Young people have been targeted in Kobanê. Six young people lost their lives. The Autonomous Administration is based on the revolutionary youth. The Turkish state knows this, which is why it targets young people. It is not only afraid of the SDF, but also of young people and women. Whoever is organized, whether children, women or young people, is targeted, whether armed or not. Because organized people will never bow. The Turkish state is afraid of them, that's why it attacks them."

"The liberation of Kobanê became Turkey’s nightmare"

Şamî recalled that 27 January will mark the seventh anniversary of the liberation of Kobanê. The current escalation of the attacks is no coincidence, he said, adding: “Back then, Turkey did everything possible to ensure that Kobanê fell into the hands of ISIS. At that time, Kobanê was already a major obstacle to realizing Turkey’s projects. ISIS failed seven years ago, and Turkey is now trying to achieve what ISIS failed to achieve. The defeat of ISIS was a nightmare, especially for Tayyip Erdoğan. It was his dream that Kobanê would fall into the hands of ISIS. But all mercenary groups were defeated. Turkey is now desperately trying to attack and occupy the region with its own forces."

"Never surrender to darkness"

Şamî continued: “Militarily, politically and economically, all the peoples of the region see their future in the Autonomous Administration. The resistance of the people in Kobanê was an outcry from the people never to surrender to darkness. Without Kobanê, ISIS would have spread over a large area by now. After the Autonomous Administration was proclaimed, a psychological war began against the region. Everything was done to ensure that the different peoples stayed away from the Autonomous Administration. Initially, the aim was to make people economically dependent on the occupation. But this goal has not been achieved this way. So Turkey tried to divide the peoples of the region. There has been a lot of fake news in the media in the past few days. False reports like 'We killed so and so many terrorists' or 'There was an attack, we reacted' are published every two days. We are against the occupation and we are committed to every action we take against them. However, if there are things we haven't done, we let the public know. All the news that has been published in the Turkish media in the past few days are lies. The purpose of this fake news is to intimidate the population. Another aim is to please the hearts of the fascists in Turkey who feed on nationalist sentiments. And also with this false news they want to show the guarantor powers that the SDF are attacking them."

The silence of the guarantor powers

Sami noted that many forces in Northern and Eastern Syria, including those occupying the region, pose as guarantor powers. "If we look at these forces, Russia, Iran, Turkey and the International Coalition in particular draw attention. In Idlib, the Turkish occupying power sees itself as a guarantor. However, for their own interests, the international powers keep silent at the moment. In Northern and Eastern Syria, Russia and the United States presented themselves as guarantor powers. The guarantor powers play an important role in the region. But these forces have to defend the people of the region, not the invading forces. Recently, Turkey has stopped recognizing these guarantor powers. It carries out its attacks before the eyes of these powers. Even if the guarantor powers keep claiming that they want to stop these attacks, in practice they take no step in this direction. It is the duty of the guarantor powers to guarantee the security of the peoples of the region."

"We will continue to protect the population"

Şamî said: “We will continue to protect the population in 2022, as we did in 2021. It is our job to save people from harm. We are their children, nobody comes from outside and defends us. We have to defend ourselves. We have three main goals: we want to end the occupation. We want to ensure the complete destruction of ISIS and strengthen peace in the region and offer the population better opportunities in all areas. We strive for the self-government of the peoples."