SDF military leader confirms he might transition to political role

He confirmed that he was consistently asked to take on an 'administrative role' in the past. 
SDF Commander-in-Chief Mazloum Abdi (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
SDF Commander-in-Chief Mazloum Abdi (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Mazloum Abdi, Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), confirmed, during an event of the Washington-based Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy last Thursday, that he might take an administrative role in the local administration in the future.

During the seminar, he was asked if he had plans to join the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) amidst rumors he would be replaced and take on a non-military role. 

He confirmed that he was consistently asked to take on an "administrative role" in the past. 

However, during the fight against ISIS, he said he took both a "political, administration and security role."

The SDF and anti-ISIS Coalition announced the territorial defeat of the Islamic State in Syria in March 2019. 

Nevertheless, sleeper cell attacks persist – especially in liberated territories – in an apparent campaign to destabilize the general area.

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"Now that things have calmed down a bit, there are requests for him to return to more of an administrative role, and he does not see that as a problem. He sees it's very possible that he can (also) maintain a connection to the SDF," Rasha al-Aqeedi, a Senior Analyst and the Head of the Nonstate Actors program in the Human Security Unit at the Newlines Institute, who hosted the SDF commander, said in her translation of his speech during the event. 

However, he said while taking on "the administrative aspect of things," the "main point" was he would do "anything that would benefit the northeast region and in general the AANES (Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria)." 

"Mazloum is a strategist by inclination and a role in the administration is an opportunity for him to build institutions in northeast Syria that can endure for the long-term, especially security institutions," Nicholas Heras, a Senior Analyst and Program Head for State Resilience and Fragility at Newlines, told Kurdistan 24.