No enough indications could justify SDF claims about a Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria.
Since mid-April 2022, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)- not as usual- started to talk about Turkish forces' preparations to launch a new military operation targeting SDF-held areas in Syria. Such allegations are disseminated repeatedly in periodic meetings and statements issued by the leaders of the SDF's military councils and the heads of the legislative and executive councils of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria AANES.
However, even though Turkey launched, on April 17, a ground and air military operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), in a number of areas of the Kurdistan region of Iraq; SDF concerns and fears remain not based on any sufficient and practical indications on the ground. The rules of engagement in Syria are different from those in Iraq and are not necessarily linked to each other. In addition, no tangible preparations, mobilization, or military alert on the Syrian-Turkish borders or on the lines of contact between the SDF and the armed Syrian opposition factions have been observed yet.
In fact, it is possible to identify a number of potential goals that push the SDF to make such allegations, related to an imminent Turkish military operation in Syria in this way despite there are no real sigs refer to that. These goals might be shown as the following:
• As an attempt to obstruct the expected new round of "Kurdish-Kurdish" dialogue, which the United States is working to make possible through the meetings conducted by "the US Deputy Special Envoy to Syria, Matthew Pearl to put pressure on the two sides of the dialogue. The SDF is not ready to make concessions on issues such as the disengagement from the PKK, the abolition of conscription, the participation of the National Council in the Autonomous Administration, the change of educational curricula, and the spread of the Peshmerga in its areas of influence.
• To seek a position from the United States to pressure Turkey to reduce the volume of its strikes and military operations against the SDF and the PKK under the pretext of influencing the conduct of anti-terror operations.
• Providing cover for its continued policies of forced recruitment and mobilization on the pretext of Turkish military preparations, especially with the launch of a new recruitment campaign in its areas of control that includes for the first time those coming from outside these areas, to make up for the shortfall resulting from the decision to reduce the age group targeted for recruitment on September 4 2021.
• As an attempt to distract the population's attention in its areas of control away from the internal economic and living problems they are experiencing, resulting from corruption, mismanagement and depletion of resources by the cadres of the PKK who control all economic, administrative and security aspects of the region.
In general, and despite the SDF’s attempt to exaggerate concerns than they are about the risk of an imminent Turkish military operation targeting its areas of control and using this for an internal agenda, this does not negate Ankara’s readiness to carry out a new attack in northeastern Syria, especially since it is already seeking to change the rules of engagement in the region, taking advantage of Russia's preoccupation with Ukraine and launching the "Strategic Mechanism" with the United States.