Turkey has asked Germany to arrest and extradite the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Mazloum Kobani, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Monday.
The request follows media reports that Kobani will travel to the United States and Germany, Çavuşoğlu said.
Turkey sees the SDF and its affiliates as offshoots of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged three-decades-long insurgency on Turkish soil.
Turkish forces and allied Syrian rebels on Oct. 9 launched an offensive in Kurdish-controlled northeast Syria targeting the SDF. Kurdish forces have withdrawn from the region after Ankara reached separate deals with the United States and Russia, giving Turkish forces control over a stretch of the border running 120 km (70 miles) wide and 30 km (20 miles) deep into Syria.
“We quickly asked for the arrest and extradition of the so-called commander of the YPG, a PKK member terrorist, Ferhat Abdi Shahin, from relevant states to our country after media reports that he will travel to the United States and Germany,” Deutsche Welle Turkish quoted the foreign minister as saying at a budget meeting in parliament, using Kobani’s birth name.
Turkey in October sent an extradition request to the United States for Kobani after issuing an Interpol red notice.