Kurdish demonstrators picketed near the Tell Abyad base from which the US army withdrew on Monday, protesting the White House’s decision to pull out troops from the area, ahead of a planned Turkish military operation to create a ‘safe zone’ in northern Syria.
Hameed al-Abd, Head of the Joint Administration of Tell Abyad, explained that similar sit-ins are taking place in two other locations as well.
“Such sit-ins are from all the people: Kurds, Arabs, Armenians, and Turkmens. The majority is from the martyrs’ families, who sacrificed their dear sons in this area to defeat terrorism, and fought on behalf of the whole world. This is what we say at this stage, we are human shields, we would not allow any aggression against this region,” he said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the White House statement at a news conference on Monday, stating that the official withdrawal of the US troops had begun.
The planned operation aims to clear US-backed Kurdish forces from the region, groups which Turkey considers terrorists.