Rebel brigade says ready to expel Turkish forces from northern Syria

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Kurdish members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Aleppo. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

The commander of the Northern Democratic Brigade, Iskander Alaa, said on Sunday that his soldiers were ready to “liberate all Syrian territory from the Turkish occupation.” The statement was made in response to Turkey’s announced plan to attack the Kurdish-majority Afrin District.

The Northern Democratic Brigade operates under the umbrella of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and has fought in Manbij and Raqqa against radical Islamist groups.

Commander Alaa told reporters that his brigade had pledged to cleanse Syria of its terrorists and that the people of Shahba (northern Aleppo) would soon be liberated from Turkey’s ‘occupation.’

The commander also called on the armed opposition, to abandon its alliance with Turkey and join the SDF, saying that the northern tribes “must unite with revolutionary factions to end the Turkish occupation.”

The Turkish Army and Syrian rebels launched the Euphrates Shield campaign in August and by May 2017 had captured nearly 2000 km2. After Ankara and its allies secured al-Bab in Aleppo Governorate they announced that the campaign was complete.

The main aim of Euphrates Shield was to prevent the Kurdish cantons from linking up. Turkey is now embarking on a new campaign against Kurdish-held areas and according to Turkish media outlets has assembled roughly 20,000 rebels.

This comes as the Syrian Democratic Forces are invested in the battle for Raqqa, in eastern Syria. Kurdish officials have called on the international community to halt Turkey’s aggression, explaining that it could force the SDF to redeploy, endangering the US-backed campaign.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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