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SDF Commander-in-Chief says group has 110,000 fighters, calls for semi-merge with Syrian Army

In the interview, which was released by Asharq al-Awsat on December 17, Sahin revealed that the SDF has today 80,000 fighters as well as 30,000 security personnel.

“We ask that these forces have a natural scope within the Syrian defense system, protect the areas it liberated in northeast Syria and that its personnel serve within that region and carry out their national duty within this region as one of the units of Syria’s army,” Sahin, who is known by his nom de guerre Mazloum Abdi, said.

The commander added that the group should stay in northeast Syria and keep its current command in a way that suits the overall structure of the Syrian military.

Last October, the SDF and the Damascus government reached a breakthrough agreement, allowing the deployment of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the northeastern region. However, the agreement, which was a result of the Turkish-led attack on the region, didn’t settle the situation of the Kurdish-led group.

When asked about the possibility of a political agreement with Damascus, Sahin said that such an agreement would require “more time and longer talks.”

Russia was the broker and guarantor of the initial agreement between Damascus and the SDF. Now, Moscow is playing a positive role, pushing both sides towards a mutually-accepted agreement, according to Sahin.