‘Kurds liberated Tel Abyad, no displacement against Arabs’: Syrian opposition figure

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Qasim al-Khatib, member of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), speaking to ARA News in Tel Abyad, Raqqa province.

ARA News

Tel Abyad, Syria – Qasim al-Khatib, member of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), has visited the city of Tel Abyad (Gire Spi) in Raqqa province, northeastern Syria, after militants of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) were expelled from the city by the joint forces.

Al-Khatib has headed a delegation from the SNC to investigate allegations about the displacement of Arab civilians from Tel Abyad at the hand of Kurdish forces. 

In an exclusive interview with ARA News, al-Khatib said: “As member of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) and as a citizen from Tel Abyad, it’s my pleasure to congratulate my people for the liberation of the city from Daesh (IS) terrorists.” 

“I am honored to be among the first arrivals to the city from the political opposition after IS defeat,” he said.

Al-Khatib denied the widespread accusations by some Arab opposition factions in Syria to the Kurdish forces about the forced displacement of Arab inhabitants from Tel Abyad. 

“We have a trustworthy team of young Syrians who documented all developments in the area. There is no single evidence that Kurds have displaced Arab civilians from Tel Abyad,” the SNC member said. 

“There has been no such actions of displacement against Arabs or Turkmen. The Kurdish forces and allied rebels played a prominent role in cleansing the area from IS terrorists. They brought back security to Tel Abyad and its surroundings. People are now returning home after the terrorist group was removed by the joint forces,” al-Khatib told ARA News in Tel Abyad.

Regarding any possible scenarios for the administration of the city of Tel Abyad, al-Khatib said: “We have submitted a plan to the Kurdish forces and rebel factions regarding the city’s administration; we asked for the removal of all armed military aspects from Tel Abyad, and asked for a civil administration in the city and the border crossing at the Turkish border. Our Kurdish brothers immediately approved out demand and respond ended to our appeal,” he added. 

“We share the same interests with the Kurdish Auto-Administration in northern Syria. Thus, we agreed on a roadmap for the city’s administration and its border crossing. The public institutions will be run by locals.”

“We discussed also with a group of Syrian lawyers the possibility of forming civilian courts to hold accountable those involved with the Islamic State group in committing crimes against civilians,” al-Khatib concluded.

 

Interview by: Redwan Bizar

Source: ARA News

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