ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A spokesperson for the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Thursday responded to comments made by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad about a possible confrontation with the Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria.
SDF Spokesperson Kino Gabriel told Reuters in a voice message that a military solution “is not a solution that can lead to any result.”
“Any military solution, as far as the SDF is concerned, will lead to more losses and destruction and difficulties for the Syrian people,” Gabriel said, adding the SDF wants a “democratic system based on diversity, equality, freedom, and justice” for all ethnic and religious groups.
The SDF holds the largest area of Syrian territory outside government control in the country’s north, as Reuters reports, and has avoided direct conflict with the government in the now seven-year-long civil war.
In an interview with Russia’s RT international broadcaster earlier in the day, Assad said his government had begun “opening doors for negotiations” with the SDF but did not rule out a military response if necessary.
“This is the first option. If not, we’re going to resort to…liberating those areas [in northern Syria] by force,” he said. “The only problem left in Syria is the SDF.”
The Syrian President finds himself in a relatively stronger position since the war began in 2011, mainly due to Russian and Iranian support.
In the interview with RT, Assad also hinted at a possible confrontation with US forces if they do not leave Syria.
“The Americans should leave, somehow they’re going to leave,” he said. “People will not accept foreigners in this region anymore.”
There are nearly 2,000 US special forces troops on the ground in Syria who have backed the SDF, led by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), in the ongoing fight against the Islamic State.