In a statement on Tuesday, Mustafa Bali, the Director of the Media Centre for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) accused Turkey of blackmailing former SDF spokesperson Talal Silo and fabricating lies through the Turkish government-run news agency Anadolu pro-Turkish government news agency Anadolu News Agency.
“It is no secret to the public opinion, the involvement of the Anadolu News Agency in it’s hostility against the SDF and their achievements against terrorism and the fabrication of lies after lies to insult these forces,” Bali said.
On 17 October, Brigadier General, Talal Silo, was reported to have defected to FSA units after crossing the border to Turkey.
According to the SDF official Bali, the Anadolu news agency is directly supervised by the ‘Turkish special war department targeting Kurds through the fabrication of lies.”
So far, the news agency published three interviews with Silo, which seems to target the image of the SDF and the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in order to undermine Western support for the SDF forces that defeated ISIS in Raqqa, the former de-facto capital of ISIS in Syria.
Moreover, the SDF official Mustafa Bali says there were contradictions in the statements by Silo. “This confirms again that Turkey blackmailed him and taking him hostage,” Bali said.
“We in the Syrian Democratic Forces confirm that all these attacks against us will not deter us from moving forward in our war against terrorism and what is being fabricated confirms the content of our previous statement about the disappearance of Mr. Talal Silo,” Bali said. “We believe he has been subjected to blackmail and threats and had earlier resigned as result of this blackmail and pressure,” he said.
Silo was the leader of the Seljuk Brigade, a Syrian Turkmen rebel group named after the Selcuk Turk empire. The group joined the SDF in October 2015 as part of Jaysh Thuwar (Army of Revolutionaries), an FSA group allied with the Kurdish led YPJ/YPG forces.
On 20 October, in the capacity of SDF spokesperson, Silo announced the liberation of Raqqa in a ceremony in the Black Stadium in Raqqa.
“Since the moment of losing contact with him, our forces have been investigating the circumstances of his disappearance, although he left earlier as a result of some pressure and problems he faced in his work. So we believe that his disappearance is the result of a special operation of the Turkish intelligence in cooperation and complicity of some of his family members,” the SDF earlier said in a public statement.