Rojava leader Saleh Moslem says that Turkey's so-called anti-ISIS fight actually targets Kurds


YPJ resistance fighter, Rojava. Picture: The Rojava Report.

Saleh Moslem, the Co-President of Rojava’s PYD (Democratic Union Party), spoke to ANF news service regarding the war the Turkish state has started against Kurds under the pretext of fight against ISIS. He said in that interview that Turkey is actually waging a war against the Kurds by pretending to be standing against ISIS and has used ISIS as blackmail against the Kurds. Saleh Moslem underlined that they will resist all of the policies Turkey will pursue against Rojava or the Kurds in the Jarablus region.

The PYD leader said that the massacre at Suruç, which killed 31 socialists on July 20, was carried out against Kobanê and sent a message of mass killing against those supporting and standing with Kobanê. He also said that the Suruç massacre was carried out as part of Turkey's policy against Kurds and Rojava.

Saleh Moslem pointed out that Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Erdoğan pursued a different plan against Kurds by claiming to be making peace since 2013, and he said that the creation of ISIS and having it fight the Kurds while this process was underway was also a part of their plan. He stressed that the AKP prepared for war by arguing that they were making peace and said, “Within this process which was called peace, they created ISIS and made it fight against the Kurds. Although not directly, their indirect acts proved this to be true."

Saleh Moslem also pointed out that Turkey was stuck in a difficult situation when the entire world started questioning who supported ISIS and provided a passage route for them and he said, "Turkey would either stand by ISIS, which it supported, or be on the side of those fighting ISIS. To smooth away the pressure it faced, it now wants to wage the actual war it had planned against Kurds by pretending to be standing against ISIS." He further emphasized that Turkey is using its war against the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) against Syria and Rojava as well, and said that Turkey wants to use ISIS as blackmail against the Kurds. He said, "What Turkey implies to Kurds is that 'Either you lay down arms or I will sic ISIS on you.' Turkey has put this policy into practice with a massacre in Suruç."

Saleh Moslem argued that Turkey has started a war against Kurds under the pretext of fighting against ISIS due to international pressure and he strongly criticized the recent airstrikes Turkey has launched against the guerrilla-held Medya Defense Zones. "They are shelling the guerrillas who waged a struggle and fight against ISIS in Shengal, Kirkuk and many other places, and stopped their advance in all of these regions. What sort of an anti-ISIS fight is it then, now that Turkey is shelling those fighting ISIS? So, it means this is a war waged against Kurds (away) from the front (against) ISIS."

The PYD leader also stressed that Turkey's policies are clearly seen by the entire world now, no matter how hard it tries to cover them up, and added that the NATO member countries which met today also know very well against whom Turkey is actually waging a war. He said that both NATO and the whole world was aware of the fact that Rojava’s People’s and Women’s Defense Forces (YPG/YPJ) is the only force fighting ISIS today. He noted that the concept of the agreement the U.S. has made with Turkey was not well known to everyone yet and he underlined that the YPG and YPJ will be fighting against all of the threats and dangers facing Rojava and Kurds in other regions.

ANF news service asked Saleh Moslem about the agreement between the the U.S. and Turkey which allows for a 40-km area in the Jarablus region to be cleared of ISIS forces and given over to the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Saleh Moslem said that it is the peoples living in that region who will decide who will have control there. The PYD Co-President said that Rojava’s YPG and YPJ are not now present in that region, but that some forces fighting ISIS were already there and he said, "The local people, Kurds and Arabs living there, have long waged a war against ISIS and they cannot be ignored. It is not yet certain whether Turkey will take sides with those forces or hit them in the event of entering that area."

Saleh Moslem called attention to Turkey's policy against Syria and Rojava and said that no one will allow Turkey's attempts at interfering in these regions. It is well-known that Turkey wanted to choke the Rojava Revolution by putting its long-existing plans into practice through the agreement that it has made with the U.S.

Saleh Moslem emphasized that they will stand against Turkey’s position regarding the Kurds in Jarablus and other regions under their pretext of fighting against ISIS. "Everyone should know very well that the YPG and YPJ are there to protect the people. We will be resisting all of the policies which anticipate leaving some certain regions to ISIS or its brother organizations and which target the Kurds. Just like they resisted the regime and ISIS so far, the YPG and YPJ will continue resisting anyone targeting them."

[Reprinted from Turkey Harvest.]

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