Ferhat Abdi Şahin, better known by his noms de guerre Mazlum Abdi, Şahin Cilo, and Mazlum Kobanê, is a Syrian Kurdish military leader, serving as the commander-in-chief[a] of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Mazlum Abdi in July 2019
|Birth name||Ferhat Abdi Şahin|
|Other name(s)||Şahin Cilo |
Mazlum Kobanê (noms de guerre)
|Allegiance|| PKK (formerly)|
Syrian Civil War
Abdi first served with the Kurdistan Workers' Party within Syria and was detained several times by the Syrian authorities. He joined the PKK in Turkey and conducted militant activities in rural areas of Şemdinli (Hakkâri Province) in 1996. He later left to Europe where he was engaged in political work, later travelling to Iraq where he was again involved in military work. In August 2014 he was in charge of the negotiations the People's Protection Units (YPG) held in Sulaymaniya with Iran and the United States in order to form an effective alliance against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), after which an alliance with the US was agreed to. As the commander of the SDF, Abdi commands 70,000 troops. Kobanê has stated that he is open to work together with the Syrian government within a federal system that includes the existing de facto autonomous Democratic Federation of Northern Syria.
In the wake of the 2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria, Abdi has stated his willingness to ally with the Syrian regime in order to protect the local Kurdish as well as the Armenian and Assyrian population of Northern Syria from Turkish and Islamist aggression. As part of a deal with the SDF, Syrian government troops have been given permission to occupy the towns of Manbij and Kobanî in the hopes of deterring further Turkish aggression.
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