SDF leadership says it will accept a Turkish-US ceasefire deal in ‘war region’
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Mazlum Abdi, on Thursday announced on public television that the group was accepting the ceasefire deal in the area between Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain, but not for any other areas in the northeast of Syria.
His statement on Ronahi TV came shortly after a US delegation, led by Vice President Mike Pence, announced they had secured a ceasefire in northeastern Syria between the attacking Turkish forces and the Kurdish-led SDF. The military command of the SDF announced the ceasefire went into effect at 22:00 local time.
“It’s true, a ceasefire has been set up between the Turkish occupiers and our forces. It’s true that this has been worked on for the last three days,” SDF leader Abdi said. However, he stressed that the ceasefire was only for the regions between Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain, where “there is now war.”
“As you know, President Trump has himself worked on this. He sent a letter to Erdogan, and finally the American vice-president went and met with them. We were part of this whole process, and we can say that we were connected to the American delegation which travelled to Turkey,” Abdi continued.
The SDF leader also stated that, in the last nine days of this bitter war, “many of our civilians lost their lives, and thousands of people have been driven out as refugees.”
That is why, he added, that the ceasefire was intended for this specific region. “Whatever we can do as the SDF to make this ceasefire work, we will do. America has led [brokered] this ceasefire, and is responsible for ensuring that it is carried out in the correct way.”
However, the SDF commander warned that against demographic change in the areas between Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain. “The people of this region must be able to return to their own homes and land.”
“Nothing has been discussed for the other regions. Our forces remain there. Maybe there will be discussions over these other regions in the future. But this agreement is for that region,” he emphasized.
Abdi affirmed the ceasefire was the result of the “heroic struggle carried out by the soldiers of the SDF, Kurds, Arabs, Assyrian Christians and others, together.”
He also indirectly thanked those across the globe who supported the SDF, saying none of this would have been possible without the support of “all the forces of the world.”
Following Turkey’s attack on northern Syria on October 9, many world leaders, the US congress, and EU nations spoke out against the unilateral military operation. Kurds and supporters also held marches in many cities around the world, condemning the attacks.
“Everybody, every state, apart from the client states of Turkey, apart from them, all the states of the world created pressure on Turkey so this ceasefire could be set up. As a result of this great pressure, and the struggle of our people and our soldiers, this ceasefire was achieved.”
Editing by Nadia Riva