Swedish SDF volunteer in Syria condemns ISIS attack in Stockholm, blames Swedish political leaders for lack of action


Thousands of people attends a "Lovefest" vigil against terrorism in in Sergels Torg, central Stockholm, Sweden, Sunday, April 9, 2017. A hijacked truck was driven into a crowd of pedestrians and crashed into a department store on Friday in the Swedish capital. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

ARA News

Jesper Söder, a Swedish volunteer with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) inside Syria, in an exclusive interview with ARA News condemned the recent Stockholm attack that took place on 7 April and claimed lives of four civilians. Söder blamed the soft Swedish policy for the attack. “The blood of the victims is on the hands of Daesh and Swedish political leaders,” he said.

The Swedish officer who is volunteering with the SDF forces inside Syria and assist the U.S.-backed SDF campaign against ISIS in Raqqa, said the attack hit Sweden hard.

“The Stockholm attack was the first of its kind, and first attack to take civilian lives. Among the victims was a 11-year-old girl going home from school. It’s an attack against our democracy and freedom,” Jesper Söder told ARA News.

He said the attack was carried out by an illegal that was about to be deported by the authorities, but managed to hide. “It’s an attack that hurt us all. But also an attack that we will never be forgotten, and I believe this is a wake up call for the political leaders in Sweden who haven’t done much to make sure that Daesh [ISIS] members in Sweden get imprisoned or deported for being part of a terror organisation. Instead we believe they are traumatized and need help to overcome their ‘horrible’ experience with Daesh,” he said.

“Because of this attack, I believe the thinking that ‘Daesh are victims’ is over, and I already see politicians are coming with new law proposals that before they said were not needed. Even though Swedish anti-terror experts have for years called for the implementation of such strict laws,” he said.

“It feels like they [Swedish political leaders] were just waiting for something like this to happen, so they could use this attack to get votes, which I also said in November 2015,” Söder told ARA News. “Our political leaders won’t act until it’s to late. Unfortunately innocent people have to lose their lives in order for politicians to act in Sweden.”

Nevertheless, he says the deaths of the victims will not be in vain. “All of Sweden feels with their loved ones, and this attack will unite all of the people of Sweden against Daesh and extremism,” he said.

The SDF officer criticized the soft policy of the Swedish government “which gives jobs and apartments to Jihadists.”

“Now it’s just for the politicians to show that they are serious after years talking about how to handle terrorism. It’s clear that giving such extremists jobs, apartments and help to get them into our society was a mistake. I myself have just smashed my head in the table when it came to this “rehabilitation” program,” he concluded.

“I know for sure that the Swedes have opened their eyes, including politicians. This attack could have been stopped. Now if they want to prevent future attacks they need to act with harder laws and punishments against terrorists. The sanctuary for Daesh in Sweden has died on 7 April 2017,” Söder said.

According to the Swedish security service Säpo, 300 Swedes have joined extremist terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq over the last three years, reported Swedish media.

Until now, Sweden has not given any support to the Kurds who are fighting ISIS in Syria. “The Swedish government is unfortunately not learning enough on what is going on in the fight against Daesh [ISIS],” he said.

Nevertheless, the representation of Rojava in Sweden and PYD (Democratic Federation Party) organization in Scandinavia participated in the ceremonies of laying flowers writhes at the location of the terrorist attack in the capital Stockholm.

The representation of the DAA and PYD met unofficially on the margins of the ceremony with some Swedish officials showing the Kurdish people’s sympathy with Sweden and its security forces, and they assured that the Kurdish people are in the first trench of fighting global terrorists like ISIS.

“To cease terrorists, financial sources and supplies should be cut off from supporting countries. By this, providing military and political support by European states and the world is important for the troops that fight the terrorists in Syria and Iraq, specially the Kurds as they are fighting the terrorists on behalf of the world,” the representation said in a statement.

“Sweden can do more and needs to do more. Sweden is not officially backing the YPG, YPJ, and the SDF, they are neither for or against. Just some politicians love and support the YPG, but it doesn’t means much for the cause, they should help us in the fight,” Söder concluded.

Swedish SDF member Jesper Söder. Photo: ARA News

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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