Syrian Democratic Forces leader: We are ready to cooperate with Arab armies

The Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces Mazloum Abdi. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Updated 26 April 2018
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Syrian Democratic Forces leader: We are ready to cooperate with Arab armies

  • Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF): We have no problem if Arab forces join the alliance and we will cooperate with them.
  • President Trump previously proposed the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, but a final decision has not been made.

LONDON: Mazloum Abdi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and head of a force of 60,000 troops, recently held a lengthy meeting with Brett McGurk, the US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.
Originally from the town of Ain Al-Arab (Kobani) in northern Syria, Abdi said the meeting discussed US President Donald Trump’s intention to withdraw US troops from Syria and the SDF’s willingness to cooperate with Arab countries that might send troops to fight within the Coalition, in case the US withdraws from it.
“Officially, there is no decision to withdraw US troops from Syria, but President Trump proposed the matter to members of his government for discussion. We have information that the administration is discussing his proposal and the possibility of withdrawing troops or not,” Abdi told Asharq Al-Awsat. 

Talking about the possibility of deploying other forces in case of US withdrawal, Abdi replied: “There is nothing official to date, but countries have shown initial approval for sending their forces to Syria as part of the international Coalition.”
He continued by saying: “We are working with the Coalition to expel terrorism from Syria. We have no problem if Arab forces join the alliance and we will cooperate with them.”

Abdi also revealed that the Manbij Military Council (MMC) met with Turkish and American officials at Incirlik Air Base and requested that the People's Protection Units (YPG) participate in the battle to free Manbij, and that Turkish officials agreed to this.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is comprised of 60,000 troops, 30,000 of which are guards stationed on the border with Turkey, the Iraqi border where Daesh still has a presence, and along the south of the Euphrates which is controlled by the Assad regime.  

 


Israel announces plan to approve 2,500 new settler homes in West Bank

Updated 24 May 2018
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Israel announces plan to approve 2,500 new settler homes in West Bank

JERUSALEM: Israel’s defense minister said on Thursday he plans to seek approval next week for the construction of some 2,500 new homes in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Avigdor Lieberman, writing on Twitter, said a regional planning board would be asked to designate 1,400 of the housing units for immediate construction.

Settlements are one of the most heated issues in efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, frozen since 2014.

Palestinians want the West Bank for a future state, along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Most countries consider settlements that Israel has built in territory it captured in the 1967 Middle East war to be illegal.

Israel disputes that its settlements are illegal and says their future should be determined in peace talks with the Palestinians.

“We will promote building in all of Judea and Samaria, from the north to south, in small communities and in large ones,” Lieberman wrote, using the Biblical names for the West Bank.

There was no immediate comment from Palestinian officials, who have long argued that Israeli settlements could deny them a viable and contiguous country.

Some 500,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas that are also home to more than 2.6 million Palestinians.