Salih Muslim: Turkey wants to turn Afrin into terrorist hub like Raqqa, Mosul
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The former leader of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) Salih Muslim on Thursday said Turkey plans to turn Afrin into a hub for terrorists similar to the Islamic State’s (IS) previous strongholds of Raqqa and Mosul.
Speaking to Kurdistan 24 during a live broadcast interview from Stockholm in Sweden, Muslim discussed the recent military developments in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), specifically Turkey’s capture of the Afrin region.
The Syrian Kurdish leader warned that Ankara was creating a place for terrorist groups—the same groups who have attacked Europe and other parts of the world—to move freely, similar to IS’ grip on Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.
“We continue to warn that Turkey is a threat to the world not just to the Kurds,” Muslim said. “Turkey wants to make Afrin the capital of terrorism, like Mosul and Raqqa.”
“Turkey is determined to prevent Kurds from obtaining their rights. This is what they desire. Their plans are obvious,” he added.
Asked if he was worried that the United States, which has troops in Manbij, would give Turkey the green light as Russia did in Afrin, Muslim said America would remain “to protect its interests in the region.”
“We have not abandoned our allies. We have fought and defended our rights. America realizes this, and it is one of the reason’s they relied on us” to defeat terror groups in Syria, he explained.
“The US is conscious of its own interests, which include supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF),” he added, a group which the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) make up a majority.
Addressing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s threats to continue his military operation east of Afrin and into the Kurdistan Region’s Shingal region, Muslim said Turkey was “capable of anything” after what they did in Afrin.
“What they did in Afrin means they can continue their advance in the Kurdistan Region, and even Erbil,” he told Kurdistan 24.
“As long as someone says they are a Kurd, they are a target for Turkey. Turkey will not stop until the Kurdish people are eliminated,” Muslim stated.
The former PYD leader also noted that “the world now realizes that Afrin is the pride and honor of the Kurdish people.”