GENEVA (ANF) – PYD Co-President Saleh Moslem spoke to ANF on recent political developments, and said that the US and Russia have documents that will enable the ICC to prosecute Erdoğan. Moslem recalled the ongoing court case of Rıza Zarrab in the US, and said that this case enables certain powers to pull the plug.
Below is the ANF interview with PYD Co-President Saleh Moslem:
‘ISIS GANGS ATTACKING EUROPE WERE TRAINED IN MANBIJ’
What is the importance of Manbij operation?
Manbij operation is very important strategically. ISIS’ center Raqqa’s connection with Turkey was partially cut with the liberation of Girê Spî (Tal Abyad), and Raqqa will be isolated with the liberation of Manbij, i.e. the Jarablus road. Then, it will only be Mosul, and its liberation will end all support to ISIS.
All of these will make it easier to end ISIS, and Manbij is very important for us. The villages of Manbij are part of Rojava and 50 percent of them, as well as 49 percent of the town center, are Kurdish. We cannot abandon Kurdish and other people in the region.
Another important dimension is that ISIS members always use this route in order to attack Europe. ISIS members have been trained in Manbij and sent to Europe for attacks, and the liberation of Manbij will reduce the attacks on Europe significantly.
‘TURKEY DELIVERED 12 TRUCKS OF AMMUNITION 5 DAYS AGO’
What is Turkey’s response to the liberation of Manbij from ISIS?
Turkey has not yet given up on Manbij, and is sending aid to ISIS via different means. They are not supporting ISIS gang in Jarablus directly but send aid to them via groups such as Al Nusra and Ahrar Al Sham that share ISIS’ mentality. Under the disguise of clashes, they sent 12 trucks of ammunition to ISIS 5 days ago.
As part of a newer agreement, groups that are described as moderate forces have stopped fighting one another and declared a war against Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). They stopped fighting among themselves and hope to support ISIS in Manbij, but ISIS will be cleared in Manbij no matter what happens.
‘FORCES INCLUDING THE HPG COULD LAUNCH AN OPERATION IN MOSUL’
Will there be an operation in Mosul in the near future?
Mosul is not our area, but an operation led by the forces there is necessary. Even if we don’t participate in such an operation, forces such as the HPG, YBŞ, Peshmerga and the Iraqi government could carry out such an operation.
‘TURKEY CONTINUES TO SUPPORT ISIS VIA ZAKHO’
Is Turkey an obstacle in the way of this operation?
What does the presence of 1200 Turkish soldiers in Bashiqa, right next to Mosul, mean? These soldiers secure the connection to ISIS and the aid to the gangs goes through Zakho. Nobody is hiding this, they used to hide the fact that Turkey is among the founders of ISIS but they stopped trying to hide it. The plans to eradicate Kurdish people in Rojava were implemented from Turkey, who insists that it does not support ISIS despite the clear evidence proving Turkish support to the gangs.
‘THEY LICKED WHAT THEY SPAT IN THE CASE OF ISRAEL AND RUSSIA’
What are your thoughts on Turkey’s convergence with Israel and Russia?
They licked what they spat in the case of Israel and Russia. I had previously stated that Turkey could give up on anything so that Kurdish people do not make any gains. They are now trying everything they can because they have not been able to stop the Kurds. All they care about is to prevent Kurds from gaining power in the region.
‘NOBODY CAN DARE TO FIGHT US, WE WILL FIGHT ANYONE WHO STANDS AGAINST US’
Will their plans be successful?
I do not think so, the entire world now sees that Kurds are the strongest folk in the region. We will fight anyone who stands against us, nobody can dare to fight us. Turkey could form alternative relations but nobody can take such a stance against us for this reason. If they want stability in the region, they have no option but to stand with Kurdish people. They are well aware that Kurds are the biggest actor in the region.
The whole world knows that Turkey has supported terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Ahrar Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra in order to stop Kurdish people, but these relations have been exposed and continuing the same policy would mean standing with ISIS.
Europe and the rest of the world know well that they have to stand with Kurdish people in order to protect their values.
‘ZARRAB CASE ENABLES CERTAIN POWERS TO PULL THE PLUG’
If Turkey’s support to these groups is well known as you said, why is this case not taken to international courts?
Turkey is improving its relations with Russia because many countries are taking a clear stance against Turkey. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has prepared necessary documents for the prosecution of Erdoğan. Russians have possession of documents that show Turkey’s relations with ISIS.
The arrest of Reza Zarrab in the US is also connected to this. Zarrab’s case is ongoing and there is a court case against the Kuveyt Turk bank. Turkey’s relations have been exposed.
Zarrab’s case stands like a rope on some people’s neck and they can pull it any time they want. We will see if the US will pull this rope it holds in its hand, or use it as blackmail. Both Russia and the US have information on relations with ISIS, and it depends on their politics how they will use this information.
‘TURKEY WANTS TO MEET WITH THE SYRIAN REGIME VIA INTERMEDIATORS’
Reports suggest that Turkey wants to meet with the Syrian regime, do you know anything on this topic?
We receive reports on this issue, Turkey has wanted to meet with the regime and a meeting took place in Algeria. We know that intermediators have worked for this meeting, but the revival of Turkey-Syria relations will not change the realities on the ground in the region.
I do not believe that the revival of relations will yield results, because its consequences would make things more difficult for both actors.
‘THE STABILITY OF EUROPE DEPENDS ON THE MIDDLE EAST, WHOSE STABILITY DEPENDS ON THE KURDS’
Why do you think Turkey would like to meet with the Syrian regime?
They want to re-establish relations based on their enmity to Kurdish people, their main goal is to prevent the Kurds from making gains in the region.
The Kurdish issue has transformed from a regional to a universal problem. It won’t make a difference for us if these powers unite in opposition to Kurdish people. Kurdish people are stronger than ever and nobody can defeat them now. On the other hand, Europe and the world will not let this happen. The stability of Europe depends on the Middle East, and the stability of the Middle East depends on the Kurds.
If not Kurds, whom will they accept? ISIS, the Ba’athist regime or the Ottomans? It is obvious that they will not accept these.
‘ISIS WARNED TURKEY TO CONTINUE ITS AID’
Why do you think ISIS carried out an attack in Turkey?
The attack in Istanbul was not ordinary. I had previously stated that if you support ISIS, the gangs would one day come back and hit you. Turkey can no more get rid of the ISIS attacks targeting it. There are different fractions within ISIS and Turkey’s influence on some of these has weakened. Groups such as Turkmens lost their influence, the assassination of Ebu Müslüm within ISIS is an example of this.
Many people implementing Turkey’s policies within ISIS have been murdered, this Jarablus case can turn against Turkey in the near future.
The attack in Istanbul constitutes a blackmailing against Turkey so that it continues to support ISIS, hinting further ISIS attacks if it doesn’t.
Because of its mistakes, Turkey is at a political deadlock at the moment and it will either continue supporting these gangs or experience similar attacks. Turkey used these groups in places such as Suruç and Ankara, but now realized that Turkey itself was the one being used.
‘ISIS ATTACKS IN EUROPE ARE COORDINATED IN TURKEY’
Does ISIS have members or forces in Turkey?
It is evident that ISIS has forces and members in Turkey, but I don’t know the exact amount.
The sleeper cells of ISIS in Europe that conduct attacks from time to time are ruled by the power in Turkey and these sleeper cells are directly connected to the powers in Turkey.