We Want to Liberate Whole of Syria From Islamic State: Kurdish Leader Ilham Ehmed

The co-president of the Syrian Democratic Council, Ilham Ehmed, has stated that the liberation of Manbij will play a major role in building relations among all parts of Northern Syria and creating a «shared and democratic life».

Syrian Democratic Council (MSD) co-president Ilham Ehmed spoke to ANF about recent developments in Manbij, Rojava and Syria.

‘Important step for the liberation of Raqqa’

Ehmed described the Manbij Operation as a strategic step in the liberation of Syria from jihadist groups, with Manbij being the route Islamic State (IS) militants used to enter or exit Syria and travel to Europe. «The liberation of Manbij will also be an important step for the liberation of Raqqa. The people of Manbij had mobilized politically and militarily before the operation, and the people’s will marked the beginning of the initiative to liberate Manbij.» Ehmed said.

‘Basis for the liberation of Northern-Rojava and entire Syria’

The MSD co-president also said that the Manbij Operation was important for the success of the Democratic Syrian Revolution, and that it would oust IS from its stronghold and enable the establishment of a democratic system in the region and in Syria. Ehmed highlighted the Arab-majority aspect of Manbij, and said that the town would play a similar role as Tal Abyad (Gire Spi) does in Northern Syria.

«Manbij will play an important role in the establishment of the system in Northern (Rojava) Syria, just as Northern Syria will play a major role in the establishment of a Democratic and Federal Syria,» she stated.

‘Women greeted forces with freedom dance’

Ehmed added, «It is not easy to see women dancing in front of cameras in the Middle East because of the feudal system still in place here, but women forced to wear the hijab have been doing the dance of freedom in front of cameras as they greeted Manbij Military Council fighters liberating their villages. Images like this show how discontent women are with IS’ treatment. Their dances should be called the ‘Dance of Freedom’ because they can truly feel that they will be able to live freely after the liberation of their villages.»

‘People determining their own path’

Ehmed noted that the people of Manbij were offering important help to Democratic Syrian Forces during the operation. «The Syrian Democratic Council sees the liberation of Manbij as the basis for the formation of a Democratic Syria, the people no longer want an outside force to rule over them and are determining their own path,» she stated.

‘Our goal is liberation of entire Syria’

Ehmed also commented on the Syrian National Coalition and said, «They do not want the liberation of Manbij and would rather see IS continue to rule over the city. The coalition’s objections to Kurdish presence in Manbij does not serve the interest of the peoples of Syria. The coalition mostly serves the interests of Turkey, and the presence of IS in Syria will always prevent the democratization of the entire country.»

«We want to liberate the whole of Syria from Islamic State gangs,» echoed Ehmed.


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