Muslim: We don’t accept a ‘safe zone’ that Turkey will be in
Salih Muslim said Turkey only thinks of invasions and massacres in Syria and that is why they use the concept of a ‘safe zone’, stressing that they will not support any project that Turkey is involved in.
PYD (Democratic Union Party) Foreign Relations Official Salih Muslim stressed that a safe zone to be formed under Turkey’s tutelage, or even one that “Turkey will have a part in” will not be accepted by them under any circumstances. Moslem said they accept the UN or another international force to take position in the area.
NOBODY WOULD BUY IT
Muslim spoke to Yeni Ozgur Politika newspaper and said: “The concept of a safe zone was brought up in a tweet by Trump, but Turkey says the safe zone will be under their tutelage, they will set it up, they will do this or that. Of course these are all lies. Nobody accepts such an initiative by Turkey. It is also clear what Turkey wants to do in the Syrian issue from the start. Turkey will control the region through invasion attacks and change the demographic structure. They will settle the people they want in the areas they invade. They will destroy the Kurds. And while they do that, they will say they will settle the 3 million refugees they have there. They want to do these things on someone else’s land, with someone else’s money. Nobody would ever buy this, nobody will ever accept this.”
CRITERIA FOR THE SAFE ZONE
Muslim said the US hasn’t conveyed anything to them about this “safe zone” and they don’t have any information on the details, adding that the US military officials who visited Turkey may have discussed the matter in their meetings.
Muslim spoke about his own thoughts on the safe zone as well: “We would like a safe zone for our people, but not this way. A safe zone cannot be under Turkey’s tutelage. In fact, anywhere Turkey has any involvement in cannot be safe. Turkey will spoil everything they are involved in. They will implement conspiracies constantly. We do not accept in any way any ‘safe zone’ that Turkey will implement or participate in. Turkey cannot take part in such an initiative because they have their own plans and projects. Turkey has plans for their ‘National Pact’ and plans to destroy Kurds. They have shown this clearly in Afrin. United Nations Security Council could set up observation points, another international power could take positions. Everybody knows of such mechanisms. But in the way we think about it, the matter is an international issue. Any decision to come out of the Security Council must be accepted by all absolutely. How will it be accepted, how this can be we do not know. On the other hand, saying ‘YPG can’t be there’, ‘this and that can’t be there’ is geared towards leaving our people without anybody to defend them. The poeple have a defense system in Syria: The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which Turkey calls ‘terrorists’. They want to leave our people defenseless. If a people is left defenseless, anybody will do whatever they want to them. The SDF is the Syrian peoples’, the Kurds’, the Arabs’ and the Syriacs’ joint defense system.”
On the other countries’ approach to the safe zone, Muslim said: “The Syrian regime announced that they won’t be accepting a Turkish invasion when the safe zone idea was first brought up. We don’t know what Russia, Arab countries and Iran think clearly because this is a new idea. When we ask the Americans again, they say they don’t know. But if the safe zone is to be implemented, all parties must consent to it. It wouldn’t work any other way.”
ERDOGAN IS BALANCING ON A ROPE BETWEEN THE US AND RUSSIA
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had announced that he will be meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani on January 23. PYD Foreign Relations Officer Saleh Moslem spoke about the visit and said: “Erdogan is going to Putin for help.” Moslem continued: “Erdogan will go to Putin on the 23rd. This issue will be discussed in that meeting. I think he is going for help. Erdogan is balancing on a rope between Russia and America, while Russia is trying to protect the Syrian regime. Like Syria, I don’t think Russians will not accept Turkey’s demands in this meeting. It would be unacceptable to allow a foreign country to invade the lands of a neighboring country that one claims to protect. We can’t comment on the details of the how, but we believe Russia won’t accept this. To say something about the Americans, US officials know that we won’t accept anything with any Turkish involvement.
PEOPLES WILL DEFEND THEMSELVES
Salih Muslim also pointed out that Turkey may still attempt an attack that will create full-on chaos despite all objections: “That is why Kurds, Arabs and other peoples will defend themselves. They have prepared themselves for it. The peoples have taken their own precautions. If Turkey attacks us in our own home, our duty will be to resist. We don’t have any other solution. We will resist all together. The peoples are also giving this message in their tent demonstrations along the border. Arabs, Kurds, Syriacs, nobody wants Turkey. From Tabqa to Raqqa, nobod approves of Turkey’s invasions.”
INVASION WOULD GIVE ISIS BREATHING ROOM
When asked, “If an invasion happens the way Turkey wants, what effect will it have on ISIS’ revival?” Muslim said:
“Everybody knows Turkey’s relationship with ISIS. If Turkey attempts an invasion attack, one of their reasons will be to free ISIS prisoners. They could take the imprisoned ISIS members under their protection for ‘security’. Other than that, units fighting ISIS will have to withdraw from those areas, and that will lead to ISIS getting stronger and organizing again. An invasion attack by Turkey would give ISIS an opportunity to redevelop. Before Trump’s decision, the Turkish state and their gangs were already issuing daily threats. They said they would enter the areas, ‘bury the people there in ditches’, and kill the Kurds. These all would serve ISIS. and, they have been gathering their gangs in Idlib and other areas to place them in Afrin. So how are these different from ISIS? Turkey already uses them in Idlib, Afrin and Shehba. Right now, Syrian Democratic Forces are in an extremely tough war with ISIS. Turks could attack to give ISIS the breathing room they need.”
“WE WILL WORK WITH ANYBODY AGAINST THE THREAT OF TURKEY”
PYD Foreign Relations Officer Salih Muslim said Turkey plans to invade the line from Aleppo, Afrin and Shehba to Mosul and Kirkuk on basis of the National Pact (“Misak-i Milli”): “They do this through their support for terrorist organizations, and through threats and blackmail. But whether they will succeed or not is entirely dependent on our resistance. We resist. International powers are aware of this. They know the relationship between these terrorists and Turkey too. I believe it won’t be that easy for them to swallow what Turkey wants to do.”
Muslim concluded with: “Now maybe they don’t go very strict or sort of ignore things for their own interests, but Turkey is dangerous for the whole world, not just for us. Those who carry out the terrorist attacks in Europe are again groups connected to Turkey. If Turkey gets a chance with this ‘safe zone’, their threats and using these terrorists for attacks could enter a new phase. This is what we are trying to prevent. If we get attacked in our own home, we would have no option but to defend ourselves. International powers should put their economic interests aside and think of the future of peoples, the future of the Middle East and the future of Europe. And for that, they must tell Turkey to stop. We can work together in that. If the Americans are not there, we can work with others.”