The commander of Kurdish forces in Syria accused Turkey of sabotaging a US-brokered truce Saturday by blocking the withdrawal of his forces from a flashpoint border town in northeastern Syria.
In a wide-ranging interview with AFP, Mazloum Abdi, head of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said he still wished to see a role for the US in Syria to counterbalance Russian influence, while recommitting his forces to countering the ISIS group.
“The Turks are preventing the withdrawal from the Ras al-Ain area, preventing the exit of our forces, the wounded and civilians,” Abdi said in a phone interview from Syria.
Under a US-brokered ceasefire announced Thursday evening, SDF forces are meant to withdraw from a key strategic area near the Syrian-Turkish border within five days.
But Abdi said he could not abandon his forces in the town, which is besieged by Turkish troops and their Syrian allies.