Kurds accuse Turkish intelligence of assassinating military leader in Syria’s Jarabulus

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Syrian Democratic Forces in Manbij countryside. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

AMUDE The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Tuesday reported that Abdulsettar Al-Cadiri, commander of the newly established Jarabulus military council, was assassinated by unknown attackers. Syrian Kurds accused the Turkish intelligence service of carrying out the attack. Turkey has so far not responded to the allegations. 

Turkey for over a year has said that Jarabulus is a red line, and the Kurds are not allowed to take the town of Jarabulus–which has been under the control of the Islamic State (ISIS) for over two years. However, since crossing Tisreen dam and taking Manbij city from ISIS two weeks ago, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have got closer to the town of Jarabulus on the Syrian-Turkish border. 

The SDF-backed Jarabulus Military Council was announced in a statement on Monday. After three hours, al-Cadiri was killed by sniper fire in the town of Sheykler.

The Kurds say two agents of the Turkish intelligence were captured by the Jarabulus Military Council and are being interrogated.

“We in the military council of Jarabulus warn the Turkish government for its aggressive actions. We stress we will not stand idle towards such hostile acts,” the council previously said about Turkish plans to back Syrian rebels to take over Jarabulus.

The assassination will most likely result in more tensions and violence between the SDF forces and Turkey.

On Monday, Turkish artillery also hit an SDF position in northern Manbij.

The SDF leadership said in a statement that they fully backed the newly established council in Jarabulus.

“We support the statement released by Jarabulus military council against Turkish attempts to use military groups in order to spread its influence on the region,” the SDF said.

The western-backed SDF stressed that the opposition rebel groups that are supported by Turkey are no different from ISIS and will destabilize the region. 

“We [SDF] confirm our readiness to defend the country against any schemes which consider direct or indirect occupation,” it said.

The SDF also called on the US-led coalition to support the SDF forces in its fight against terrorism.

“As a result of the serious challenges and plots by regional powers against the will of the people, and obstacles put for the local [federal] project [in northern Syria] by pushing out terrorist groups, we call on the coalition to abide by its pledges in securing an international protection for our country,” the SDF said. 

The Pentagon said that coalition partners –such as Turkey– should fight ISIS, and not the SDF forces.

“Our concern and focus remains ISIL [ISIS] and doing everything we can to target ISIL and to keep the focus on ISIL, including making sure that the efforts of forces on the ground stay laser-focused on ISIL itself,” Pentagon spokesperson Peter Cook said on Monday.

Reporting by: Jan Mohammed and Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

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