In an apparent panic over the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria ahead of the upcoming Turkish operation east of the Euphrates, the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) have been making contact with both French officials and the Bashar Assad regime in a bid to gather support.
Riad Darar and Ilham Ahmad, two leaders of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), visited France on Friday and demanded a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron following French officials' announcement on Thursday that their troops will remain in Syria despite Washington's withdrawal. However, they could only meet with France's Syrian representative, François Senemand.
"We conveyed our concerns over the consequences of the U.S. withdrawal from Syria to the fight again Daesh," Ahmad told Le Monde, the French newspaper, on late Friday.
Pointing out that after the U.S. pullout, France will do the same, Ahmad stated that they called on France to pressure Turkey and support them against the likely Turkish operation. He added that they have sent their "daughters and sons to fight for the security of Europe and lost billions of youth for this aim" therefore it is France's "moral obligation" to protect the organization.
Stressing that the YPG is holding hundreds of Daesh militants in their prisons, Ahmad implied that in the case of a Turkish attack, the Daesh militants may be released and move toward EU cities.
"We can't control our prisons. We keep hundreds of Daesh terrorists there. We all have to fear if they escape from prisons. Our allies should understand that if we have to lose our lands because of their pullout, we can't take those prisoners with us," he said.
Following U.S. President Donald Trump's decision, France had said that it will maintain its participation in the coalition fighting the Daesh terrorist group in Syria.
In March, Macron met with leaders of the YPG and expressed support for them in northern Syria, pledging to send troops to Manbij, much to the dismay of Ankara, which views the presence of terrorist groups near its southern border as a grave security threat.
In addition to France, the terrorist organization is also seeking to win over the support of the Assad regime by offering to hand over YPG-controlled areas and oilfields to the regime.
Accordingly, many media outlets reported yesterday that following the meeting with the YPG, the regime began dispatching its troops, armored vehicles and ammunition to northern Syria's Manjib and adjacent areas. Syrian troops stationed in Homs, Idlib and Damascus were reportedly instructed to get ready for a possible deployment.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced on Thursday that the leaders of the terrorist group and senior regime officials met in al-Hasakah's Qamishli city near the Turkish border to discuss handing over YPG-held oilfields in the eastern province of Deir ez-Zor to the Syrian regime.