Ilham Ehmed: Attack in Afrin was a conspiracy before the NATO summit

Ilham Ehmed said, “the Turkish state organized the military attack in Afrin to bring up the demand for a ‘safe zone’ at the NATO summit.”

Ilham Ehmed, member of the Executive Board of the Syrian Democratic Council (MSD) spoke about last week’s attack in Afrin. Ehmed said that the attack was a planned conspiracy of the Turkish state before the NATO summit.

“I think that important issues were discussed at the NATO meeting. Syria and S-400 issues came to the fore at this meeting. The Turkish state which could not get what it wanted in Syria, aimed to occupy North and East Syria and even Aleppo. It continues its invasion attacks on some regions. Erdogan made a statement and stated that he wanted to establish a ‘safe zone’. It seems that at the NATO summit, Erdogan will again talk about North and East Syria,” she said.


Ehmed addressed the bombing of a hospital in Afrin days before the NATO meeting. “Was it an attack between the Turkish state and the Syrian government or was it carried out by mercenaries? Is it a conflict between Turkey and the Syrian government? We don't know that. However, I think that it was a planned attack. They wanted to put the blame on the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces). They wanted to bring the SDF to the agenda of the NATO meeting. They aim to eliminate the support of the US and other countries participating in the NATO meeting to the SDF.”

Ehmed stated that the Turkish state is making a special effort to criminalize the SDF. “They want to show that security and instability in the SDF areas has been shattered. The Turkish state is demanding that these areas be cleared from the SDF and handed over to them.”


Ehmed also talked about the provocations in Manbij in recent days and remarked that the Turkish state wanted to seize Manbij from the very first day. “The Syrian government tried to garner support by creating escalation in Manbij. After the elections, the Syrian government forces tried to recapture some places in order to show themselves strong. The Turkish state and the Syrian government want to take advantage of the situation by raising the people's voices in Manbij for their own benefit. They wanted to use the demands of these people against the Manbij Civil Administration as an uprising.”

Ehmed emphasized that the Turkish state may have brought the Manbij issue to NATO's agenda. “The Turkish state will argue that there are instabilities in the region controlled by the SDF and for this reason they should govern these regions themselves. They want to bring these issues to the table during the meetings to be held in the coming periods. All of their calculations are based on capturing areas under the control of the SDF.”


Ehmed pointed out that there are many different groups in Idlib and that there is a ceasefire between the parties. “There are areas in Idlib that are under the control of al-Qaeda. However, there are people in Idlib who do not favour al-Qaeda and the Syrian government. This is the case in most of Idlib. Russia and Turkey are negotiating over Idlib. Various alliances are being made. Not only both parties, but also the USA and European powers are involved in these negotiations. There is a ceasefire. They want to deepen the Idlib front before the NATO meeting. If the Turkish state agrees to NATO policy, it will realize that it has no place in Syria. The Turkish state is caught between two bad choices. One side of it is NATO, the other side is Russia. It is unclear with whom and how it will handle issues.”

“Innocent civilians lost their lives in this process. They are the ones who suffer the most. This bargaining policy must come to an end. The important thing is the protection of civilians everywhere including Idlib or any other city in Syria. People should get their rights. Those who came from Ghouta and settled in Afrin should return to their homes, and the people of Afrin should return to their own home and land.”