Turkey’s plan to settle Syrian refugees in northeastern ‘dangerous’: SDF

‘Means demographic change’
Commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces Mazloud Abdi (File)

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SULAIMANI — Commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mazloum Abdi has said the settlement of a million Syrian refugees in the northeastern part of the country now controlled by Turkey is “dangerous and means demographic change.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Ankara aimed to move forward with the plan.

“We call on the US and Russia, who bear the responsibility of preventing this, to work on a mechanism to facilitate return of the true owners of the land,” tweeted Abdi, who is popularly known as Mazloum Kobane.

Erdogan told state broadcaster TRT that Ankara would finance the resettlement on its own if allies did not provide support, according to Reuters.

Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies launched the offensive against the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara views as a terrorist group. After seizing a strip of land inside Syria 120 km (75 miles) long and around 30 km (18 miles) wide running from the town of Ras al Ain to Tel Abyad, Turkey signed separate deals with the United States and Russia to halt its assault.

Turkey had previously said it could settle up to 2 million Syrian refugees in a 444-km (275-mile)-long “safe zone” it aimed to form in northeastern Syria, and repeatedly urged NATO allies to provide financial aid for the plans.

Turkey currently hosts more than 3.5 million refugees from neighboring Syria’s 8-1/2-year-old war. Turkish officials have not indicated when any resettlement of refugees would begin.

(NRT Digital Media)