The Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, often referred to as Rojava, issued a call to arms on Wednesday, calling on civilians to head to the Turkish border to “carry out their duties and show resistance.”
“We, as an autonomous administration in northeast Syria, announce a general mobilization for three days on a regional level, and we call on all our institutions and our people to head to the Turkish border area to fulfil their moral duties and show resistance in these sensitive historical moments,” the statement said.
US President Donald Trump ordered American troops on Sunday to withdraw from northern Syria, a decision that enables Turkey to attack Kurdish forces inside Syria.
Turkey considers the SDF as an enemy due to its links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Kurdish organization based in Turkey which has fought the Ankara government for Kurdish independence.
Trump’s order will remove the buffer of US troops preventing a Turkish assault on SDF-controlled territory. The order came into effect Monday with about 50 to 100 US special operators pulling out of the area.
The Turkish military carried out strikes overnight on Monday, targeting the Syrian-Iraqi border to prevent Kurdish forces using the route to reinforce northeast Syria, according to two unnamed Turkish officials cited by Reuters.
According to Reuters, Ankara aims to drive out Kurdish forces from northeastern Syria and create a space to resettle the two million Syrian refugees currently in Turkey.