Syrian refugees in Turkey will organize a protest on November 11 inside Turkish territory, north of the Syrian city of Tell Abyad, to demand a Turkish military intervention to “liberate” the city from the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Syrian Baladi News outlet reported on November 7.
According to the pro-opposition news outlet, the Islamic Syrian National Movement and several Arab tribes from the area around Tell Abyad agreed to organize the protest during a recent meeting in Turkey.
“We agreed on holding protests in the Turkish part of the city of Tell Abyad … to demand the entrance of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Turkish military to Tell Abyad in order to liberate it from the Syrian Democratic Forces,” Ibrahim Habash, a spokesman for the Syrian National Movement, told Baladi News.
While the organizers of the protest claim that their main goal is to allow the refugees to return to their homes in Tell Abyad, local observers believe that the upcoming protest is nothing more than a propaganda stunt to justify a possible military operation against the SDF there.
In late September, Kurdish sources reported that the Turkish military had deployed hundreds of armored vehicles, battle tanks and trucks on the border with Tell Abyad. Back then, Syrian activists warned that Turkey is planning to capture the northern city.
Later, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to clear the entire area east of the Euphrates River from what he called “terrorists.” Erdogan’s threat was clearly aimed at the SDF.
These developments indicate that Turkey is indeed planning to launch a military operation in Tell Abyad, similar to the one we saw in Afrin. However, it is unclear yet if the U.S. would allow such a move, especially that it could harm its relations with Syrian Kurds.