Mustafa Bali, who is the spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said on December 20, 2018 that the American decision to withdraw from Syria came as a shock to the SDF and to the American troops on the ground in Syria. He said that the withdrawal will leave a void that would enable ISIS and other terrorist organizations to regroup. He also expressed concern that Turkey would take advantage of the situation to massacre the Kurdish population in northern Syria in order to cause demographic changes. Bali added that the decision is not in keeping with America's commitments. Bali's remarked aired on Russia Today TV in Arabic.
Mustafa Bali: In our view, the American decision to withdraw from Syria was shocking, and it came as a surprise to us and even to the American forces here on the ground. The war on terror is not over yet. This withdrawal will cause a large void, which will be exploited by the terrorist forces, and first and foremost by ISIS. They will try to use this void to regroup and launch counter-attacks. This is a very unfortunate decision, which is not in keeping with the American commitments, or even with the commitments of the international coalition. This decision will certainly lead, one way or another, to the escalation of the continuing Turkish threats against northern Syria in general, and against the Kurdish people in particular. There is a danger that massacres will take place, and that there will be a Turkish attack that is meant to bring about demographic change, similar to what happened in Afrin, where 400,000 Kurds were driven out and replaced by Turkmen families and by families of foreign terrorists. There is a danger that Turkey will repeat this in northern Syria, and that it will perpetrate real massacres against the Kurdish people. We believe that the Turkish threats are real and serious, and the world, headed by the United Nations, must abide by their commitments in this respect.