AFRIN, Syrian Kurdistan (Kurdistan 24) – A top Syrian Kurdish official on Sunday said Russian officials asked them to hand the country’s northwestern district of Afrin to the Syrian government to stop the Turkish attacks on the region.
Aldar Khalil, a member of the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM), an umbrella organization made up of six political parties and civil society institutions, including the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the leading Kurdish party in northern Syria, told reporters they will defend Afrin and will never hand it to the Syrian regime.
“Russians told us we would be safe and far from the Turkish attacks if we leave Afrin for the Syrian regime, but we totally refuse that, and we will defend it,” he said.
Additionally, Bahjat Abdo, a senior commander in the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Head of Defense Authority in Afrin, said in an earlier exclusive interview with Kurdistan 24 that they would never allow the Syrian regime to return to Afrin.
“We drove the Syrian regime out of Afrin five years ago, and it is impossible to allow them back,” he said.
On Saturday, Turkish warplanes launched airstrikes on the outskirts of Afrin and some residential areas in the city.
So far, dozens have been wounded, and several have been killed, the YPG media reported.
It is worthy to note that the Afrin district is void of any US military presence. Instead, Russian units have established several military training centers.
When the Turkish attacks broke out on Afrin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday stated that reports about Russian military units withdrawing from the Kurdish city in northwestern Syria had been denied.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany