The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) rejected a call from the Syrian defense ministry for its fighters to join the ranks of the Syrian army in order to fight Turkey, saying that the group’s “special status” must be protected.
The Syrian defense ministry said Wednesday that they are “ready to receive the members and the units who are willing to join” and to “settle the status” of those who did not complete compulsory military service.
It added that both Kurds and Arabs, who both face a “common enemy” have to unite against the Turkish Operation Peace Spring and “restore every inch of the beloved Syrian territories.”
In a statement published Wednesday, the SDF stated their preference for a ‘restructure’ of the Syrian military, which would allow the group to operate under an “umbrella” of unified efforts while remaining separate from the national forces.
“We from the General Command of the Syrian Democratic Forces appreciate any attempt to defend Syria and face off Turkish aggression against our country and people,” read a statement from the command.
“Our position was clear from the beginning that unity comes from a political solution which recognizes the special status of the SDF and its structure and finding a healthy mechanism to restructure the Syrian military establishment in order to become an umbrella for unifying efforts,” it added.
SDF Commander Mazloum Abdi also rejected the call as “unwelcome”.
“The form and the mechanism of the Syrian defense ministry and its call on the members of our forces to ‘individually join’ the Syrian Army is not welcome,” tweeted Abdi, reiterating the SDF’s position that their status has to be preserved.