Syrian Democratic Forces accuses Assad of opening borders to ‘terrorists’

Syrian Democratic Forces accuses Assad of opening borders to ‘terrorists’
In this May 21, 2016 file photo, members of the Syrian Democratic Forces gather after a training session at a firing range in northern Syria. (AP)
Updated 19 December 2017

Syrian Democratic Forces accuses Assad of opening borders to ‘terrorists’

Syrian Democratic Forces accuses Assad of opening borders to ‘terrorists’

QAMISHLI, Syria: A US-backed Syrian force has accused President Bashar Assad of opening the country’s borders to “foreign terrorists” after he labelled its fighters “traitors.”
“Bashar Assad and what’s left of his regime are the last people with the right to talk of treachery,” the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said.
“It was the regime that flung the country’s doors wide open to hordes of foreign terrorists from across the world.”
Assad earlier accused US-backed Kurdish fighters of being “traitors,” ramping up the rhetoric against forces that control more than a quarter of the country.
The Kurdish minority accounts for an estimated 15 percent of Syria’s population.
“When we talk about those referred to as ‘the Kurds’, they are in fact not just Kurds. All those who work for a foreign country, mainly those under American command... are traitors,” Assad said.
“This is how we see these groups working for the Americans,” he said.
Assad had criticized the semi-autonomous Kurds in the past, but his latest remarks, released by the presidency on social media, were more virulent than usual.
Assad also said that three years of UN-brokered peace talks have yielded “nothing,” in part because the opposition does not represent anyone and is merely a “vocal phenomenon.”
Assad’s remarks came after the latest round of talks in Geneva ended last week without making any progress toward ending the war. The UN envoy to Syria has criticized the regime, which refuses to discuss anything besides fighting terrorism.
The opposition has long called for a transitional period in which Assad would have no role, something the regime refuses to even consider.
Assad praised an alternative track of negotiations expected to be hosted in Sochi by Russia, a close ally whose military intervention since 2015 has tipped the war in his favor.
“We certainly believe that anything is better than Geneva, because Geneva has achieved nothing after three years,” Assad said.