Syrian Democratic Forces pause Hajin campaign due to Turkish attacks

by Meghan Bodette    


The Syrian Democratic Forces have paused operations against ISIS in Hajin due to ongoing Turkish attacks on the Syrian border near Kobane and Tel Abyad. 

"We...consider these attacks as direct support by the Turkish state to the terrorist organization ISIS," the SDF General Command said in a statement issued this morning.

Over the past week, as the SDF fight a difficult battle to liberate Syria's last remaining ISIS pockets, Turkish cross-border shelling has killed two HXP (Self-Defense Forces) members, injured civilians, and destroyed several homes. The YPG destroyed a Turkish military vehicle in retaliation near Kobane this morning. According to local sources, a joint Coalition-SDF convoy has begun to move towards Tel Abyad, and new military outposts are being constructed near both cities. 

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated repeatedly that Turkey will target "terrorist groups" east of the Euphrates— referring to the SDF and the Democratic Autonomous Administration in Northeast Syria.

The SDF called for international support to deter further attacks. 

"While we affirm our full readiness to repel any external attack, including the attacks by the Turkish state aimed at the security and stability of our regions, we call on the international community to denounce the provocations of the Turkish state against the only safe areas in Syria, [and] we call on the international coalition to demonstrate a firm stance to deter Turkey from these attacks and its attempts to maintain and support ISIS," the statement continued.