STRASBOURG (ANF) – PYD (Democratic Union Party) co-chair Saleh Moslem spoke to ANF about the ceasefire in Syria, Turkey’s ongoing attacks on Rojava, discussions of federalism and their relations with Russia and the U.S.
Moslem said they had documents proving Turkey’s involvement in ISIS’ attack on Girê Spî, and stressed that Turkey is making a mistake that it must correct in the face of its repeated failure.
We hereby publish the first part of the interview with PYD co-chair.
What is the current situation regarding the ceasefire in effect in Syria since February 27?
The intention was to deescalate clashes rather than achieving an entire ceasefire. This was because ISIS and Al-Nusra, two major forces, are seen as terrorists and cannot be involved in this process. This situation eventually results in a complexity. In addition, there are some other groups like Ahrar-u Sham, Sultan Fatih and Sultan Murat. It is known to everyone that these groups are affiliated with Al-Qaeda. The goal of this ceasefire was to eliminate the obstruction of Russian bombardment on these groups. Yet, there is an ongoing adherence to the truce around Damascus. However, the truce doesn’t affect Kurds very much because those fighting us do not want a ceasefire and they are not involved in this process. This is because Free Syrian Army and other groups are not located near our borders. At the moment, clashes intensify mainly in Raqqa, Kobanê, Girê Spî and Shaddadi where there is ISIS. On Azaz side, fighting continues with Al-Nusra. For this reason, this ceasefire doesn’t have a meaning to us. In addition, clashes got severer along our borders after the ceasefire.
The ceasefire was followed by a major attack on Girê Spî. What do you think was the aim of this aggression?
Some circles do not want a ceasefire to come in force and they therefore want to cause such conflicts.
These include Turkey, Saudi Arabia and groups affiliated to them. There happened two important things after the ceasefire; one being the attack on Girê Spî, and the other being the border-crossing of gang groups into Rojava from Turkey’s Hatay side. According to some, as many as a thousand, and to some others, hundreds of people were helped to cross from Turkey into Rojava. This is why there always exists a complexity and fighting; and this clearly manifests who do not want a war in Syria. Turkey provides arms and recruitment support to ISIS and Al-Nusra. The areas currently under control of Syrian Democratic Forces in Efrîn and Azaz region are being targeted by ceaseless artillery attacks. On top of it, Turkey has clearly revealed its intention with the most recent Girê Spî attack.
Turkish officials voiced gladness over the ceasefire in Syria. Yet, you say Turkey is behind the attack on Girê Spî. Do you have documents proving that?
Without doubt we have evidences including videos and photos that prove this assertion. On the other hand, dozens of assailants were killed at Turkey’s border gate. YPG has all the documents regarding that. As a matter of fact, Turkey is always doing the same thing. There is no need for a particular document to believe this anyway. On a daily basis, Turkey is sending arms to the gangs in Syria and enabling their crossing into Syrian lands with buses. It is doing this before the eyes of the whole public opinion. Turkey is telling a lie and the world public opinion knows by now that Turkey’s actions do not follow its statements.
What exactly does Turkey want in Syria?
Turkey is yet to explain clearly what exactly it wants. In our opinion, Turkey wants to change the demographic structure of Syria. It doesn’t want Kurds to attain a right in Syria. It even wants to make Syria a part of the ‘New Ottoman Empire’. This is the intention of Erdoğan who now focuses its entire policy on the denial of Kurds upon the failure of its plans.
Why is Turkey so much afraid of Rojava Kurds?
Turkey is afraid of all Kurds rather than only Rojava Kurds. Erdoğan had this phobia yet a very long time ago. Turkish officials uttered remarks such as “We would raise an objection if a Kurd happened to attain a right in South Africa”. This point of view makes itself much more visible in Erdoğan’s policy today.