Syriac Officials: Our people have alternatives

Syriac officials in the Northern and Eastern Syrian administration and military forces spoke about Turkey's threats and the US decision to withdraw from Syria, stating that peoples are not without alternatives and they have new projects in progress.

Following the Turkish state’s threats against Northern and Eastern Syria and US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the region, the peoples of Northern and Eastern Syria say there is a dirty negotiation between the Turkish state and the US. Syriac officials in the Northern and Eastern Syrian administration and military forces say the peoples are not without alternatives. Northern and Eastern Syrian Autonomous Administration Assembly Co-chair Siham Qeryo and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Spokesperson Kino Gabriyel spoke to the ANF on the matter.

Regarding the United States withdrawal from Syria, Qeryo said the decision has caused concern as it was taken at a time when Turkey’s occupation threats are growing.

Siham Qeryo said withdrawal might be a right decision, yet when you look at it in the concept of a critical process in North and East Syria, and considering Turkish state threats, it creates so much doubt that this might return the country back to eight years to a more grave and deadly war.


Siham Qeryo reminded of the fact that the United States was involved in the Syrian theatre after the war in Kobane, leading to a practical cooperation between them and the SDF. Qeryo underlined that the decision has both positive and negative effects in a political analysis, adding that: “This is the positive side, the withdrawal decision might constitute the first step opening the way for other forces to leave Syria. We did not bring the United States here, they came during the war in Kobane. The Coalition forces intervened in this fight after seeing the resistance of the YPG and SDF forces, therefore there was a joint fight against a common enemy. From Til Hamis to Raqqa large swathes of lands were liberated as a result.”


Siham Qeryo said they have never invited the United States to the region and added: “The SDF had cleansed the Syrian soil of Daesh and other terrorists, and it will continue with this role from now on. Every time our forces liberated a part of this country from occupation, the Turkish state started its threats. Thus the cities of Jarabulus, Al-Bab, Azaz and recently Afrin were occupied. Now they attempt to expand this occupation to Qamishlo. We the people of North and East Syria are defending our lands, we are doing so from the day one of this conflict. When we started to defend ourselves we did not expect the United States to be involved and support us based on a mutual work. The SDF liberates Syrian land and regardless of which part of the country occupied, it will struggle for freedom. The SDF will always conduct their historical role.


Siham Qeryo stated that they knew the United State will withdraw one day, adding: “Therefore we always insisted that the Syrian crisis could only be resolved by the Syrian people. In that context we endure our struggle. Our goals are that Syrian crisis be determined by Syrian dynamics. At the same time we call on the United Nations and the Security Council to declare their stance regarding Turkish threats. A possible attack will lead to a greater humanitarian catastrophe, and will serve to harm any solution to Syrian crisis.”


The spokesperson of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Kino Gabriel also commented, “When the decision was announced, Daesh maneuvered both their forces and sleeper cells at the frontline in Hajin and Deir Az-Zour; the announcement has damaged the fight against Daesh.” Gabriel believes the decision will negatively affect the fight against terrorism, saying: “The battle against Daesh continues in Deir Az-Zour, the terrorist conducted attacks in Hajin after the decision was reported. This will greatly damage all the work the SDF and the Coalition have done together.”


Gabriel says the decision will be followed by more devastating crises and encourages the circles who try to occupy Syrian territory, saying: “The latest development is interpreted as a chance to those who have been hostile to Syria for a long time. It paves the way for the enemies of people, specifically for the state of Turkey, to create more chaos in the region.”


SDF spokesperson stressed that their forces have struggled for an equal and democratic Syria, and they will continue on this path. Gabriel said: “We will offer our project to build a future Syria, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) and the SDF have the chance to do so. There are doubts suggesting that if you are not backed by a superpower you cannot continue to live on – no, we own our own solutions. We have projects and the required means to protect our people and guarantee their security. We have multiple plans and we are discussing them, we have the will and power to realize them.”