Syrian government supporters protest Turkish threats in Kurdish-dominated city

The government supporters were calling slogans condemning Turkish threats.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Pro-Damascus supporters in Syrian government-controlled neighborhoods in the city of Qamishlo, which many Kurds regard as the capital of Syrian Kurdistan, marched in the streets on Sunday to condemn Turkish threats.

The government-organized protest comes after Turkey threatened to attack the east of the Euphrates following US President Donald Trump’s decision last Wednesday to pull US troops from the north and east of Syria.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Sunday said nobody would be able to stop Turkey from launching an operation in the east of the Euphrates River.

The pro-Syrian government news agency SANA reported that the supporters condemned “the Turkish role in backing the conspiracy against Syrian people for eight years and supporting the terrorist organizations and aggression toward Syrian territories.”

SANA quoted Syrian MP Hasan Salumi who said the people of this province are ready to face these threats and will stay behind the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in fighting “terrorism and foreign menaces since it [SAA] is the only guarantor of national unity and sovereignty.”

The government supporters were calling slogans condemning Turkish threats, and accusing Ankara of being a “sponsor of terrorism.”

“We will not allow our lands to be stained by Turks or any other invaders,”the protestors shouted.

Qamishlo, on the border with Turkey, has been under a Kurdish self-rule administration for the past few years, but Syrian government forces retain control in some areas, including the city’s airport.

Experts suggest the best option for Syrian Kurds to stop Turkish attacks after a US withdrawal is to make a deal with the Syrian government.

Joost Hiltermann, the MENA programme director at the International Crisis Group, said although the US and Russia could prevent a Turkish invasion, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) would still have to make a deal with Damascus.

“At this point, not a very good [deal],” he told Kurdistan 24. “Much depends on Russia. But their bottom line is to bring the regime back in all parts of Syria.”

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany