In its first response to recent remarks by the Minister of Defense of Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) accused the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) of adopting a “sterile racist policy.”
“The use of threatening language against SDF that liberated and protected all areas of north and east of Syria from the terrorist forces serves only the forces that are working to divide Syria’s unity,” the Defense Office in the Autonomous Administration of North and East of Syria, which leads the SDF, said in a statement released on March 19.
The US-backed group added that it will continue to support the dialogue with the Damascus government in order to reach a solution within the framework of a united Syria. However, it said that Damascus is planning to restore its authority by force only.
“The statement … confirms the insistence of the Syrian government on the policy of repression, violence and the evasion of peaceful democratic solutions. … The declarations of the Syrian regime’s defense minister confirm that the regime insists on producing itself through military and security decisions,” the Defense Office’s statement reads.
The SDF concluded its statement by saying “we want all sides to know that we support the option of the political solution, but we will not hesitate to defend our rights if necessary.”
Two days ago, Syrian Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayoub said that the SAA will recapture territory controlled by the SDF and all other illegal militias by force if needed.
“The Syrian government will deal with this issue in one of two ways: A reconciliation agreement or liberating the territory they control by force,” Ayoub stressed at a joint press conference following a meeting with Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Armed Forces Othman Al-Ghanimi, and Chief of General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Mohammad Hossein Bagheri.
Ayoub’s remarks reflect Damascus’ frustration with the SDF, which is still pinning all of its hope on U.S. support. The Prime Minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region warned the SDF from this last week and called on the Kurdish group to reach a deal with Damascus, involving Moscow as a mediator.