EXCLUSIVE – A Kurdish general told Fox News about it NATO ally Turkey plans to launch a massive ground invasion of Syria, targeting the very Kurdish groups the US military has been working with and relying on in the fight against ISIS in northeastern Syria.

The attack could endanger nearly 1,000 US troops stationed in Syria.

FILE: Mazloum Abdi, the commander-in-chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), meets with the Raqqa Civil Council in the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakeh on November 1, 2020.
(DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

In an exclusive interview with Fox News, the top general of the Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Forces, Gen. Mazloum Abdi, said his forces would no longer be able to help the U.S. fight ISIS because they are facing Turkish attacks.

“We deliberately did not freeze joint operations against ISIS together with the international coalition,” General Mazloum said through a translator. “But as I said, we had to stop this action midway because we are under a lot of stress because of a possible Turkish invasion of our areas.”


Turkish mortars, airstrikes and drones began to strike Kurdish positions in Syria and Iraq as a result Terrorist attack on November 13 in Istanbul, which Turkey blamed on Kurdish groups.

General Mazloum said the bomber was from ISIS and condemned the attack. He warned that Turkey was using this as a pretext to ethnically cleanse the Kurds. Turkish warplanes struck a military base the US military shares with these Kurdish fighters near Qamishli, about 30 miles from the Turkish border.

The U.S. relies on the SDF for ground combat against ISIS and for intelligence to fight ISIS leaders such as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

A view shows the aftermath of airstrikes that Turkey's defense ministry says took place in Derika, Syria, on November 20, 2022.

A view shows the aftermath of airstrikes that Turkey’s defense ministry says took place in Derika, Syria, on November 20, 2022.

In a strongly worded statement on Wednesday, the Pentagon said it was “deeply concerned” by the escalation, which threatens efforts to defeat ISIS and endangers the lives of US personnel working in Syria with local partners to defeat the terrorist group.

“Immediate de-escalation is necessary to focus on the mission to defeat ISIS and to ensure the safety of personnel on the ground participating in the mission to defeat ISIS,” said Brigadier General Patrick S. Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman. Fox News in a statement.

“Recent airstrikes in Syria have directly threatened the safety of US personnel working in Syria with local partners to defeat ISIS and maintain more than ten thousand ISIS detainees.”

There are now about 900 US troops in Syria that do not have Kurdish partners in the SDF to control ISIS.

US forces were within 300 yards of an SDF base in Hasakah, Syria, during the Turkish airstrike on Tuesday.


General Mazlum called on the American people and the American government to stand up for the Kurds.

“I want the American people to show the same attitude as in 2019, when we felt the stress from the Turks again,” he said. “We are again under the threat of ethnic cleansing here by the Turks. And I ask the government and people of the United States to stand up for their Kurdish friends here.”

Source link