Aldar Khalil: The will of the people will not be broken by siege
Aldar Khalil said, “The will of this people will not be broken through starvation, thirst, cutting off their living needs and limiting their supply of medicine. Their will has not been broken despite all the attacks against them, and it cannot be broken through siege.”
The siege of the Damascus government on the Ashrafieh and Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhoods in the city of Aleppo and the al-Shahba area has continued since the 13th of last March. The Damascus government does not allow basic living needs, fuel and medicine, to cross into these areas. This position of the Damascus government was met with violent popular condemnation in NE, Syria. Aldar Khalil said about this behavior of the Damascus government: "The Damascus government wants, through this siege, to convey these messages: I am here, and I do not want to develop a solution process."
ANHA’s agency conducted a meeting with a member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic Union Party, Aldar Khalil, about the siege imposed on Sheikh Maqsoud and Ashrafieh neighborhoods in Aleppo and Shahba area.
"It was the resistance of Sheikh Maqsoud and Ashrafieh that defended Aleppo"
First of all, I want to ask about the siege imposed on the neighborhoods of Sheikh Maqsoud and Ashrafieh in the city of Aleppo. What do you want to say about these attacks and why this siege was imposed at such a time?
Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, many Syrian cities have been attacked by mercenaries and militants. Aleppo is one of those cities that have been subjected to violent attacks. Damascus government forces could not resist in the cities that were attacked. It was forced to hand over many cities to mercenary groups and ISIS because they were not able to defend them. This stage of attacks was repeated in Aleppo after 2011. However, it was the Sheikh Maqsoud and Ashrafieh neighborhoods that fought the resistance inside Aleppo. This position of theirs became an example for the whole of Aleppo. On the basis of this resistance, Aleppo was defended and protected. It is true that mercenary groups have entered some places, but because the people of Sheikh Maqsoud defended themselves, this led to the surrounding neighborhoods also defending themselves. This prevented the mercenaries from reaching the city center in Aleppo and its surroundings. The residents of Sheikh Maqsoud and Ashrafieh neighborhoods fought with their own forces, despite their limited capabilities. The mercenaries were forced out of Aleppo as a result of the resistance they faced. If Aleppo is steadfast now, it is thanks to the resistance of Sheikh Maqsoud and Ashrafieh. However, instead of the Damascus government seeing this fact, recognizing it and taking an approach in line with it, we see it doing the opposite. For example, it was punishing the people of Sheikh Maqsoud and Ashrafieh, saying, 'Why did you resist, why did you defend the area, why didn't you allow mercenary groups to enter and occupy
The Turkish state is responsible of this siege
At a time like this when we call and demand an agreement with Damascus and a solution, we find ourselves facing a siege. It seems, did not agree with ours in reaching radical solution. At a time like this when we were expecting a positive response and taking a positive step, discussing a solution to the Syrian issue in general and NE Syria in particular, we see that some forces within the Damascus government directly imposed a siege on the neighborhoods of Sheikh Maqsoud and Ashrafieh.
Who follows these groups? Which are you talking about?
Apparently it is affiliated with the Damascus government, but it seems that it is not the owner of a decision or an implicit opinion. It is possible that Turkish intelligence or some agencies of the Turkish state have connected themselves to the forces of the Damascus government, or threatened them, or even established other relations with them of a different kind, or, for example, do not allow them to engage in the dialogue process. We know in advance that every time the Damascus government wanted to take a step in this direction, the Turkish state expressed its objection to that, saying, “I will not accept you to engage in any dialogue in north and east Syria, as your engagement in dialogue with it means accepting the regime in north and east Syria,” and they do not they want to accept this and they don't even want to see it.
Therefore, if any group in the world, especially in Kurdistan, wants to deal with the Kurdish revolution, to meet with Kurdish representatives, there is no doubt that the Turkish state will stand against it. The Turkish state is responsible for this behavior. And you may have interfered with it in some way. Or, for example, it threatened them, or allied with some of them. Or to obstruct and foiling the dialogue process in some way. These efforts come within the framework of preventing the agreement. The neighborhoods of Sheikh Maqsoud, Ashrafieh, and al-Shahba district did no harm to the Damascus government. There are no attempts for these areas to ally with the Turkish state, agree with mercenary groups and destabilize Syria. It does not differ from the regions of NE, Syria in terms of policy and approach. But why are they targeting them? It is as if one says 'Wait, I will do something that deepens the crisis even more'. The will of this people will not be broken through starvation, cutting off water, living needs and medicines. Why was their will not be broken despite all these attacks against them, will it be broken by the siege? This is not possible and they themselves know it. They want to send a message like this through this siege 'Here I am here, and I don't want to develop any process for a solution'
We cannot be satisfied with the siege imposed on our people
The Internal Security Forces in North and East Syria besieged the sites where the Damascus government is stationed in the cities of Qamishlo and al-Hasakah? Why did the Internal Security Forces find a necessity for this, and what is their purpose?
In the beginning, when the cities of Qamishlo and al-Hasakah were liberated from the Damascus government, the Autonomous Administration did not remove them from some of the sites in which they are stationed. So why didn't you remove it from those sites even though it is able to do so easily and in a short time? This is a political message. As a message saying 'I don't want to divide Syria, I call for Syrian unity' as well as maintaining a ground for maintaining the avenues of dialogue and reaching an agreement. For this reason, these security institutions are still present in the cities of Qamishlo and Hasaka until now. There is no political decision to remove them from those positions now. But when the Damascus government imposes a siege on Aleppo and al-Shahba, it should at least see this, 'If you want to starve our people there, we can do the same on your institutions here.' If we haven't done it yet, it's because we didn't want to. But if you say that you insist on doing so, then we can send this message to you, 'You are inside our areas, if your places are surrounded, then you too will not be able to secure your living needs.' That is why the Damascus government should find this issue, and by whom? If it is a central decision, then a decision will be made. If this is not the case and someone does it on their own, then it should be resolved.
Let everyone know that when our people are besieged, we do not stand idly. This is not unacceptable either from a humanitarian point of view, or from the point of view of accepting the truth, not even from a political point of view. The Autonomous Administration has no intention of expelling the Damascus government from its positions or declaring war entirely. It is just an attempt to raise the issue of the siege in an effort to solve it.
Do you think there were any meetings between you and the Damascus government regarding this siege? What are the representatives of the Damascus government saying?
After these events that took place in the cities of Qamishlo and Al-Hasakah, the Damascus government is now recently inquiring about what is going on. The Relations Committee responsible for this is in contact on this matter. They are trying to find a way out. But we can't say anything about those meetings because they haven't achieved any results yet. Because no agreement has been reached yet. But we hope that this issue will be resolved as soon as possible and without any major problem.