YPG Leader to Asharq Al-Awsat: We Are Ready to Work With Damascus to Deter Ankara
The leader of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), Siban Hamo, said he believed that Russian officials were “pleased” with the Turkish army’s threats to the YPG and the US troops in northeastern Syria, adding that Damascus was not taking any initiative to defend the Syrian border.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Hamo called on the Syrian state to work to protect its borders and land, saying: “We are ready for joint action to deter Turkey.”
Hamo was speaking by telephone to Asharq al-Awsat from northeastern Syria. He said that Turkey “is seeking through all means to eliminate the gains made by the Kurds, has mobilized its troops on the border and bombed territories inside Syria.”
He also noted that Turkish intelligence officials have met with Syrian factions and asked them to be ready for a military action similar to that carried out in Afrin in the countryside of Aleppo at the beginning of this year, when the Turkish army, in cooperation with the Syrian factions, launched the Olive Branch operation.
Hamo went on to say that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed that the borders of Turkey were not safe and wanted to take measures within the Syrian territory, as happened in Afrin.
Asked about contacts between the YPG and the Russian side in the wake of Ankara’s threats, he said that direct contacts had been stalled since his “disappointment” with Moscow when it allowed the attack on Afrin, but pointed to “indirect contacts through our offices.”
“The Russians are pleased with what is happening to disturb the US,” he noted.
Regarding the position of Damascus, the YPG leader mentioned contacts with officials in the Syrian government.
“In Afrin, they asked us to hand over the city before the Turkish attack, but we refused. Now they [Damascus] are watching. There is no initiative from Russia or Damascus,” he affirmed.