Sweden and Finland in NATO Syrian Kurdish Party Chairman Saleh Muslim: “Turkey’s move for a new invasion. The West? We forgot, would you rather deal with Erdogan”

“today is History dayIn Brussels, under a statue Boyforget Stoltenberg shaking hands with foreign ministers Sweden and Finland, Ann Lindy and Pekka Haavisto. Countries have just signed protocol to enter the Atlantic Alliance. About 4 thousand kilometers Saleh Muslimto me Qamishliin his party office, and Pyd (PYD), just finished reading the June report about Human rights violations in Areas occupied by Turkey and its Islamist (and jihadist) allies in the north Syria. “Violence is normal,” he comments. his people, that of the KurdsIt was bargaining chip Which allowed the Nordic countries to enter NATO: Recep Erdogan Raised the veto during the Madrid summit of the Atlantic Alliance. the reason? All three governments signed a memorandum in favor of the Sultan. Sweden and Finland, in fact, are committed Cooperating to “fight terrorism”Lifting the embargo on arms sales to Ankara and guaranteeingextradition “More than seventy terrorists” (these are Kurdish refugees from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK, the People’s Protection Units, the Syrian Kurdish formations that led the fight against ISIS, and people close to the Fethullah Gulen). Muslim was at the fore, as head of the Pyd party, when the Kurds They were fighting the Islamic State on the ground of the Western Alliance. So was his son Shraven, a YPG fighter, who was killed by ISIS snipers on October 9, 2013. Now he has just been re-elected as the co-chair of the Pyd party: “Erdogan is a move to receive support for a new invasion of north and east Syria.”

what do you mean by that?

Turkey has never joined any ceasefire in northern Syria. Since the occupation of Afrin in 2018, the bombing of al-Shahba has not stopped. The same can be said after the invasion and occupation of Serêkaniyê and Tel Abyad in 2019. In addition, on the domestic political front, it is experiencing an unprecedented economic crisis. Erdogan’s strategy is to shift attention beyond his borders, to get a consensus: Let’s think about blackmailing Europe with refugees, sending mercenaries to Libya, violating Greek airspace, and intervening in Nagorno-Karabakh. Now Erdogan has new political sides in NATO. And from the top of Madrid came out stronger.

Incidentally, Erdogan has spoken three times in recent weeks about a new operation in northern Syria. Some sources identified military intervention at the end of July. are you worried? What will you do?

If Turkey attacks us, I think no one will come to our aid. We rely on ourselves, we have no choice but to resist and defend ourselves. The hope is that the very unstable international framework, with the war in Ukraine, will not allow Turkey to embark on a new invasion. In any case, we are ready for a long war.

what are you expecting?

Erdogan wants to create what he calls a “security zone”, with an area of ​​30 kilometers from Kobani to Qamishli, in which he wants to change the demographics. For our part, I repeat, we will resist.

Let’s go back to NATO. How did you react to the news of Sweden and Finland joining NATO?

We are clearly not happy. The decision reflects the deteriorating state of democracy and sovereignty in the two Scandinavian countries, in effect allowing Turkey to interfere in matters relating to their domestic politics. Let us be clear: every country has the right to join any alliance, but this should not harm the human and civil rights of the people.

What are the consequences for the Kurds?

The memo, for the details we know, will strengthen the existing war against the Kurdish people. Since joining NATO in 1952, Turkey has used every means to suppress anyone who opposes its discriminatory policies with gross violations of human rights and the values ​​that NATO should represent. It did so by hiding behind the slogan “fighting terrorism” (The PKK, for the United States and the European Union, is a terrorist organization, and Ypg/Ypj is not, editor.). In all this, the international powers, in order to protect their economic interests, have always been passive. This is exactly what is happening now.

Did Sweden and Finland fund the People’s Protection Units? Did they guarantee political support for the PYD?

No, there was no funding. As a political party, we visited the two countries and met with political parties and civil society organizations. We also met with members of Parliament, but never had interlocutors with members of their governments. All the meetings were aimed at presenting our plans for building peace in Syria.

Will anything change now?

Sweden and Finland are members of the international coalition against ISIS. I think they will continue to participate in this framework. And I want to add one thing.


Besides the agreement with Erdogan, I think they will not respond to requests for extradition so easily. They have their own independent judicial systems, and decisions will be made according to their own laws, not the laws of Turkey.

In the event of delivery, what will happen?

I can only guess. Those who have already been extradited are tortured for a year or two, and then they are sentenced to life in prison because all the courts are operating on Erdogan’s orders. Some were sentenced to 30 years in prison.

For the West until a few years ago, when you fought the ISIS that terrified the world, you were considered heroes. And now?

Western countries do not take into account the consequences of their support for the Turkish regime. They know that Turkey has imprisoned hundreds of journalists, politicians and judges. And those who committed war crimes in Rojava against the Kurds. However, the United States and Europe turn a blind eye to all this to protect their interests. On the contrary, we represent the values ​​of democracy, humanity and freedom. If they are honest, they should stay with us. In the long run, this will lead to stability and progress in the Middle East.

Do you feel deserted?

The Kurds have always been. The world is witnessing a major crisis, from climate change to the deterioration of democracy to new conflicts. Ukraine is a prime example of how we need to think about a new political, social, and economic paradigm for humanity. A paradigm that forces us to act according to the environment, gender equality and coexistence so that our planet and our species survive. To answer your question: We don’t aspire to be the center of the world’s attention, but we don’t want to be forgotten either. Also because this, as I mentioned earlier, will also lead to negative consequences for the West.

Do you refer to instability in the Middle East?

exactly. And if I think of Kurdistan, I am convinced that immediate action is required for a peaceful solution. The politics of Erdogan’s authoritarian regime affects the entire world. As I already said, if Turkey attacks us, we will have to deploy all our forces. And this will be able to revive ISIS, which will have the opportunity to reorganize. We should not forget that the occupied areas of northwest Syria are a safe haven for extremist and jihadist Islamist groups, including ISIS. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in October 2019 in the Idlib province under Turkish control, four kilometers from the border. The same thing happened with Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, the second caliph of ISIS, in February 2022.

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