In a new interview with the Reuters News Agency, Mazloum Kobani, General Commander of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), vowed to “respond strongly” to any attack by Turkey on northeastern Syria.
“We are ready for any attack and will respond strongly…within our areas … Till now, our diplomatic attempts are ongoing to deter this,” Reuters quoted Mazloum as saying.
The Commander also revealed that the U.S. had made “serious attempts” to prevent a Turkish offensive on the SDF-held area. However, he stressed that more should be done.
While talking about the ongoing attack on the ISIS-held pocket in the middle Euphrates Valley, Mazloum warned that any attack by Turkey will result in the failure of the anti-terrorism operation.
“If there is a Turkish attack, the YPG [People’s Protection Units] forces will be forced to come protect the borders, to defend their families … the battle against Daesh [ISIS] is not possible.” said Mazloum.
U.S. Special Representative for Syria Engagement, James Jeffrey, was informed of this threat during a recent meeting in northeastern Syria, according to the commander.
“[Jeffrey] knows well that Turkish attacks will make the fight against Daesh fail and all the work between us will go to waste,” Mazloum added.
While the SDF is apparently still waiting for the U.S. to step in and prevent any attack, Turkey and its proxies are reportedly building up their forces on the border with northeastern Syria. Earlier this year, the YPG paid for taking a similar approach, as Washington did nothing to stop Ankara’s attack on the YGP-held area of Afrin.