On January 13, Saleh Muslim, a leader of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), revealed during an interview with the Hawar News Agency (ANHA) that the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is planning to enter the northern Idlib governorate to fight “terrorism”.
“The plan to enter Idlib is on the agenda of many countries and forces, including our forces [the SDF], and Idlib is a geographical area characterized by mountains, valleys and plains, and we will be up to the responsible of expelling all terrorist forces from it,” Muslim told ANHA.
Muslim predicted that all forces in Syria will participate in Idlib’s battle and claimed that Turkish-backed armed groups will not fight against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) unless Turkey directly participated in the fight.
Moreover, the SDC leader stressed that no one can stop the SAA from capturing the strategic Abu Duhur airbase in the eastern Idlib countryside as it is a Syrian land. Muslim also claimed that Turkey was trying to reach the airbase first.
“Turkey was trying to reach the town of Abu Duhur in Idlib, but soon the Syrian regime forces went on to recapture the Abu Duhur from them, and no force can prevent the forces of the regime from interfering in Abu Duhur because it belongs to Syria. Turkey is now forced to fight, and if it fights, it will enter a (catastrophe) and the disaster will lead Turkey to destruction and failure,” Muslim said.
Regarding Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threats against the SDF in Afrin city, Muslim said that the Turkish president is playing with fire and threatened that Afrin people will be like a “volcano that explodes in the face of Turkey”.
Muslim’s statement about a possible military operation of the SDF is likely nothing more than a propaganda stunt, as the Turkish Army is blocking the SDF with its positions west of Afrin city in the northern Idlib countryside.
Furthermore, many observers doubt that the US would support such operation, especially that it doesn’t provide direct support for the SDF in Afrin.