Al-Estiklal Newspaper

 Al-Estiklal Newspaper

الشعب يريد


The “SDF” Changed the Demography of the Eastern Euphrates Region in Syria with American Support

2021/06/18| | تقارير
Arab tribes in Syria warn of the demographic change by the SDF militia in their areas of control east of the Euphrates

The forces that impose their control with American support in the main, on the areas east of the Euphrates in Syria, continue the process of changing the identity and demography of cities inhabited by the majority of Arab tribes, which constitute from 93% to 100%.

That region is the entire geographical area that located east and north-east of the Euphrates River, starting from the administrative borders of the Ain al-Arab (Kobani) region at the west, as the Euphrates River entered Syria from Turkey, and ending with Albukamal area, which located on the Syrian-Iraqi border.


Major Threat

The Syrian Tribes and Clans Council issued warnings during a clannish conference on May 25, 2021 of the processes of demographic change, forced displacement, forced conscription and changing education curricula practiced by the “Syrian Democratic Forces” in their areas of control in eastern Syria.

In its statement, the council confirmed that “The conference reflects the unity of the Syrian tribes and clans and their fusion in one crucible, which is the basis of their strength, and the impenetrable fortress in the face of attempts of the abhorrent tyrannical regime to break up our social structure, this clearly shows the importance of our one vote in the coming political elections”.

The statement stated that “The Council of Tribes and Clans and its leadership denounce the practices of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia in the east and west of the Euphrates, and its seeking to create a separatist entity that satisfies its sick illusions, in order to reach a separatist state that poses a major threat to national security in Syria and its neighbors”.

The clans warned of “The effects of forced displacement and forced conscription, changing education curricula and processes of demographic change, in addition to targeting the symbols of the tribes and clans east of the Euphrates”, the clans also denounced “The violations of the SDF militia against Christians and all other components in the eastern region, and its seeking to exploit the Yazidi minority to achieve its suspicious goals through the public opinion”.

The clans condemned “Iran's criminality in Syria and its relentless seeking to make demographic changes throughout the country, and its diligent work to change the religions of people, change their beliefs and spread Shiism in the Sunni areas, especially in Deir ez-Zor and the eastern region up to the Iraqi border”.

It denounced “Russia's negative role in targeting the stability and economy of the liberated areas, the bombing of vital facilities and hospitals under false pretexts”, and it rejected “The United States, Iran and Russia plundering the country's resources and using them to fund terrorists instead of development of the Syrians”.

The Syrian writer Muhannad Al-Kati said in an article published by “Al-Quds Al-Arabi” newspaper on February 16, 2021, that “The Kurdish parties know that the reality of the Kurds in Syria is different from the reality of their counterparts in Iraq, in Syria there is no Kurdish issue, politically or historically, it is not possible to create an issue of this magnitude out of nowhere”.

He continued: “There are not even demographic constituents to support such a trend, the Kurdish presence in Syria is limited to three geographically separate parts of Syria”.

He believes that “Contrary to the propaganda during which, since the beginning of the revolution, the term (Kurdish regions) has been used, the Kurdish presence in any of their areas of presence in the border strip adjacent to Turkey does not constitute a population density, it allows us to talk about Kurdish regions or areas, except within the boundaries of certain villages and districts”.

American Support

“SDF” forces on control areas with a diverse demographics, it is inhabited by the majority of Arab tribes, constituting 93% of the population of Raqqa, 80% of the population of Hasaka, 100% of the population of Deir ez-Zor, 94% of the population of Manbij, and about 92% of the population of Tal Abyad.

In addition to the Arabs, a mixture of other nationalities and ethnicities lives in the region, among them: “Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, Yazidis, and Circassians”, over the past decades, this composition has lived in a state of peaceful coexistence, without the presence of national problems or religious or sectarian strife.

The control of the “SDF” forces over these areas came with American support since the expulsion of ISIS from it in late 2017.

In the last promises of continued support, the leader of the “SDF” Mazloum Kobani announced on May 19, 2021 that his private meeting with an American political delegation “was positive”.

Kobani explained that his forces had received direct promises from members of the delegation that the American forces would remain in the area east of the Euphrates, under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces, until “a complete victory” is achieved over ISIS in that region.

A high-ranking American political delegation had visited the eastern Euphrates region; it consisted of Joey Hood as Assistant Secretary of State, Zahra Bell as Director of the Syria and Iraq file at the American National Security Council, in addition to David Brownstein, the American Deputy Envoy to Syria.

The delegation’s composition is considered the largest American “political recognition” of the “Syrian Democratic Forces” and the “Autonomous Administration” of Northeast Syria, because the meetings of the American delegation were not limited to the military leaders of the “SDF” only, it also included the so-called “Autonomous Administration”, and local tribal leaders.

According to reports, the discussions of the American delegation were divided into several levels of interest: “The first touched on the military support that the Syrian Democratic Forces need, in order to complete its mission in combating the “sleeper cells” of ISIS, and that the “SDF” forces had received clear assurances from the Americans that their country's forces would maintain their presence in the area east of the Euphrates”.

The second pointed out that the issues of strengthening stability in the eastern Euphrates region and enabling the “Autonomous Administration”, were the other two core items discussed by the American delegation.

As the United States promised to intensify its efforts to create a Kurdish/Syrian Kurdish consensus, especially between the “Syrian Kurdish National Council” and the “Autonomous Administration of Northeast Syria”, as well as the creation of Kurdish - Arabic - Syriac dialogues in the future.

American Secretary of State Anthony Blinken praised the Syrian Democratic Forces, in addition to the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi regular army, in a statement on the occasion of the second anniversary of the victory over ISIS.

Blinken considered the three parties to be reliable partners for the United States, and that the battle against the terrorist organization is not over, and that the United States will continue to support them.

Job Role

In October 2015, the expansion of the effect of ISIS raised the fears of Washington, which preceded the formation of the Syrian Democratic Forces - Ankara accuses it of being a front for the Kurdistan Workers' Party - and provided it with weapons and ammunition under the pretext of fighting ISIS.

The “SDF” caused the destruction of dozens of cities during its war against ISIS, deliberately displacing the indigenous population, in addition, it committed many massacres against civilians, and arrested its opponents, it arrested tens of thousands of young men from the areas it controlled to forced conscription.

Since that time, the “SDF” forces have worked to change the identity of the areas they occupied, so they changed their Arabic names, as it did in cities such as (Kobani - Ayn al-Arab), (Girê Spi - Tal Abyad) and (Serê Kaniyê - Ras al-Ain) (Bouzaniyeh - Ain Issa), it has also displaced residents of Arab areas from their cities, according to reports.

For his part, writer Muhannad al-Kati says that “In 2015 the Kurdish People's Protection Forces changed their name to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and it turned out that this was based on an order from the Americans at the time, and this was confirmed by American General Raymond Thomas in statements he made in 2017 during the Aspen Security Forum in the American state of Colorado”.

According to the writer, Raymond said: “We told them verbatim: You must change your name. What would you like your name to be other than the People's Protection Units? Within a day, they announced that their name had become the Syrian Democratic Forces. I saw in the use of the word (democratic) a wonderful gesture. It gave them some credibility”.

Al-Kati pointed out that “On the ground, everyone knew the relationship of these forces with the (foreign) Kurdistan Workers' Party, as well as its relationship and military cooperation with the Syrian Regime, and it remained without credibility and without recognition by all the Syrian parties”.

With regard to the future of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Syrian writer said that “Just starting any step for a political solution, the SDF's job role in Syria will end, and all its temporary administrations in the region will end”.

Beyond that, there will be no role for SDF in its current form, and its current membership relationship with the Kurdistan Workers' Party in the Syrian political future.

The current leaders of the “SDF” may be subject to legal prosecution for war crimes that have been committed and documented, by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, according to al-Kati.