ARA News 16 March 2017 – Over 150,000 IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) have arrived in Manbij recently, said Shervan Derwish, Kurdish official spokesperson for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), suggesting that the areas under SDF control could become safe zones. This comes after the US President Donald Trump called for safe zones inside Syria to minimize the flow of Syrian refugees into Western countries.“During this month, over 150k IDPs reached Manbij area, coming from Deir Hafer and al-Khafsah, proving our area as a safe zone for Syrian civilians,” Darwish said.

“The protection of displaced people and refugees is our moral and humanitarian obligation, and we will give them all support needed,” he added.“If there is a project for no-fly-zones in Syria, all conditions are possible in the the areas under the SDF control,” he suggested.Furthermore, the Kurdish official said that the recent UN report on Syria was proof that the SDF did not carry out war crimes.

“The UN report about the war crimes in Syria confirms that the SDF stayed committed to the rules of war,” he said.“Though allegations of ‘ethnic cleansing’ continued to be received during the period under review, the [UN] Commission found no evidence to substantiate claims that YPG [Kurdish People’s Protection Units] or SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] ever targeted Arab communities on the basis of ethnicity, nor that YPG cantonal authorities systematically sought to change the demographic composition of territories under their control through the commission of violations directed against any particular ethnic group,” the UN report said.

Sinam Mohamad, foreign representative of the local self-administrations in northern Syria, says they would accept a safe zone, if not under control of the Turkish-led Euphrates Shield rebels. “As for the safe zones project, it depends on how and where and who will be controlling it,” she told ARA News. “If it’s under the control of Turkey of course it is not accepted.”

She agreed that the canton administrations could be a safe zone for IDPs. “But who will administrate it. If it’s Turkey again, it will not be acceptable. Let’s wait and see how the plans of Mr. Trump would work out,” she concluded.