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New York

Wed, 20 Nov 2019 16:42 GMT

Kurdish SDF Accuses Turkey of Sabotaging Ceasefire


7Dnews London

Sat, 19 Oct 2019 20:45 GMT

The commander of Kurdish forces in Syria said Turkey sabotaged on Saturday October 19th a US-brokered ceasefire by preventing the withdrawal of his forces from a border town in northeastern Syria.

Mazloum Abdi, head of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said in an interview with AFP that he wished the US would remain in Syria to curb Russian influence and allow his forces to fight Isis militias.

"The Turks are preventing the withdrawal from the Ras al-Ain area, preventing the exit of our forces, the wounded and civilians," Abdi said.

A US-brokered ceasefire declared on Thursday provided that SDF forces withdraw from a key border town near the Syrian-Turkish border within five days.

Abdi said that he has forces in the town besieged by Turkish troops and their Syrian allies whom he cannot abandon.

The SDF forces had been working as allies with the US in northern Syria until President Donald Trump's decision to pull American troops out of Syria ahead of the Turkish offensive.

Abdi said the American troops' withdrawal pushed him to make a deal with the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to protect Kurdish-controlled territories.

"We want there to be a role for America in Syria, not only Russia and others monopolising the scene," he said. "It is in our interest that the American forces remain to maintain balance in Syria."

The SDF suspended on Thursday actions against Isis to boost defensive movements, but Abdi said they were still committed to fighting the extremists.

"We have restarted military action against Isis in Deir Ezzor (in northern Syria). Our forces are working there with the coalition forces," he said.

Middle East