EXCLUSIVE – A Kurdish general told Fox News that NATO ally Turkey plans to launch a massive ground invasion of Syria, targeting the very Kurdish groups that the US military has collaborated with and relied on in the fight against ISIS in northeast Syria.
The attack could damage nearly 1,000 US troops stationed in Syria.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News, the commander-in-chief of the Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Forces, General Mazloum Abdi, said his forces would no longer be able to help the US. fight ISIS because they are facing Turkish attacks.
“We did not specifically freeze joint actions against ISIS together with the international coalition,” the general said. Mazlum said through an interpreter. “But, as I said, we had to stop this operation on the move, because we are under enormous stress due to a possible Turkish invasion of our areas.”
Turkish mortars, airstrikes and drones have begun hitting Kurdish positions in Syria and Iraq. November 13 attack. in Istanbul, which Turkey blamed on Kurdish groups.
Gene. Mazlum said the terrorist was from ISIS and condemned the attack. He warned that Turkey was using this as an excuse to ethnically cleanse the Kurds. Turkish warplanes have struck a military base that the US military shares with Kurdish fighters outside Qamishli, about 30 miles from the Turkish border.
The US relied on the SDF in ground combat against ISIS and on intelligence to fight ISIS leaders such as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
In a strongly worded statement Wednesday, the Pentagon said it was “deeply concerned” by the escalation that threatens efforts to defeat ISIS and endangers the lives of US personnel who are 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 involved in the mission to defeat ISIS,” the brigadier general said. This was stated in a Fox News statement by Pentagon spokesman Patrick S. Ryder.
“Recent air strikes in Syria have directly threatened the safety of US personnel who are working in Syria with local partners to defeat ISIS and detain more than 10,000 ISIS detainees.”
There are currently about 900 US troops in Syria who have no Kurdish partners in the SDF to control ISIS.
US troops were within 300 yards of an SDF base in Hasaka, Syria, during a Turkish airstrike on Tuesday.
Gene. 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 stance they showed in 2019 when we were again under stress from the Turks,” he said. “Now we are again under the threat of ethnic cleansing by the Turks. And I ask the government and people of the United States to stand up for their Kurdish friends here.”