The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has assured to make its best efforts to make Washington's endeavors regarding the implementation of "security mechanism" successful, for the sake of maintaining stability in north and eastern Syria along the borders with Turkey.
"We have announced that we will exert all our efforts for the success of achieving understandings or making agreements with Turkey, and the efforts of the United States of America", for the establishment of the safe zone, said the SDF Commander-in-Chief General Mazloum Abdi during his speech at the annual meeting of the SDF Command in Hasakah, northeastern Syria.
"Today, there is a kind of understanding and a preliminary agreement regarding establishing security and stability on our borders, for our part, as SDF, we will be a positive party for the success of this process”, Gen. Abdi added.
Earlier this month, the United States, Turkey and the SDF have reached an agreement to establish a "security mechanism" to be implemented in a phased manner, gradually and "cautiously," following rounds of bilateral talks.
YPG moved away from the borders
Among the terms which were agreed on between the SDF and US forces, that supervises the implementation of the "security mechanism" in bordering areas in northern Syria, on the southern borders of Turkey is "keeping the YPG members away from the border areas in Sere-Kaniye and Tal Abyad."
According to North-Press, the area which is specified for applying the "security mechanism" extends between the cities of Sere-Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) and Gre Spi (Tal Abyad), at a length of 70-80 km and a depth between 5 and 14 km, as it was agreed that the process should only Include unpopulated areas, after dividing it to six sectors.
On August 22, the first YPG's batch of troops withdrew from the city of Sere-Kaniye along with their heavy weapons, while the second batch withdrew on 24 August from the border village of al-Adwaniya, 35 km west of Sere-kaniye.
Meeting and agreement
During the past few days, a US-led Global Coalition delegation has held a series of meetings with some military and civilian councils along with the Internal Security Forces (Asayish) in the border cities of Sere-Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) and Gre Spi (Tal Abyad).
The delegation was composed of the representative of the US special forces in Syria, the representative of the US Department of State, the officer in charge of the implementation of the "security mechanism" Iskandar Deeb, and the SDF representative to the Global Coalition, Heyman Tammi.
The representative of the US special forces in Syria said during a meeting held with the military council of Sere-Kaniye on August 22 that they have worked with the SDF to divide the chosen area between the cities of Sere-Kaniye and Gre Spi, to run joint military patrols between the US and Turkish forces into six sectors at a length of 88 km and a width between 5 to 14 km in uninhabited areas.
According to the US special forces representative, the first three sectors will be in the areas of Gre Spi, and will be managed by the city's military council, while the other three areas will be in Sere-Kaniye, under the management of the city's military council.
"We will work to divide the sectors in those areas with military councils and Internal Security Forces," he added.
The US representative also said: "We have agreed with the SDF Command on training and increasing the number of military councils' forces in Sere-Kaniye and Gre Spi in stages, as those forces will be equipped and armed."
He stressed that, "we will work with the SDF to implement this mechanism to prove to the Turkish side that the SDF keeps its word."
Filling the blank
Moreover, the withdrawal of YPG or some members of SDF, "will be coordinated with the SDF Command and will be phased, and there will be no empty areas in the region, and there will be no risk," according to the US representative.
When YPG is withdrawn from the designated area, the space will be filled immediately by the military councils in those areas. In other words, YPG troops will be replaced immediately with other military councils, as revealed by the US delegation to the military council during the meeting of 22 August, regarding the phases of the implementation of the "security mechanism".
"The process of YPG's withdrawal and replacing them with deploying other forces will be phased, and we will bring additional US troops to help running patrols and filling the blank,” said the US special forces representative.
The dangers of the Islamic State (ISIS)
For his part, the representative of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to the Global Coalition, Heyman Tammi said during the meeting that the withdrawal of YPG from the borders will be "in stages, slowly and gradually and with great caution, just in case of any dangers that would allow the return of ISIS to the region."
"In the last six months, the SDF has carried out several military operations against ISIS sleeper cells, where more than 33 terrorists have been arrested in the areas between Sere-Kaniye and Gre Spi," Tammi said.
He pointed out that "the security issue in the region is a very sensitive point for us, and we as the Syrian Democratic Forces are very cautious in the implementation of moving YPG fighters away from the borders, and we won't let a room for any security vacuum."
Furthermore, Heyman Tammi said: "YPG will never accept the return of ISIS nor the presence of another foreign force in the region."
For his part, Sere-Kaniye's military council spokesman Imad Manno said that they will work in coordination with the SDF to increase the number of troops to prevent any security vacuum.
"We are able to protect our region and we have great experience in the war against terrorism, especially during our confrontation of al-Qaeda and al-Nusra Front in 2013,” Manno added.
"We have gained considerable experience in our fight alongside the SDF in recent years in the war against ISIS in Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor," he said.
On August 22, the US delegation met with the Internal Security Forces (Asayish) of Sere-Kaniye (Ras al-Ain), and two days earlier in Gre Spi (Tal Abyad), to brief them on the latest developments regarding the implementation of the "security mechanism" in their areas and the agreement with the Turkish side.
According to the officer in charge of the implementation of the "security mechanism", Iskandar Deeb, the internal security forces in Sere-Kaniye and Gre Spi will continue their tasks to maintain internal stability and security, and they'll be informed of any upcoming changes and developments regarding the implementation process of the "security mechanism".
"We will represent your interests in negotiations with Turkey to maintain stability in the region”, said the US officials in meetings held with the military and civilian councils of Sere-Kaniye and Gre Spi.
"As long as we are here, you are our main partners," said the US special forces representative during Sere-Kaniye meeting.
"Our relationship with the SDF will be based on trust and credibility. I will tell you the truth in all circumstances, even if I am uncomfortable with it. The SDF is also explicit with us which builds a strong relationship. The US administration has shown us a long-term plan to fight ISIS, so I do not expect our withdrawal soon,” he added.