U.S. creating army of terrorists in Syria - Erdogan

Katrina Barker
January 16, 2018

The Kurdish fighters' role in a new US -backed force in Syria has deepened Ankara's fear that the Kurds will create a mini-state bordering Turkey, and over the weekend, President Erdogan began warning of a military campaign against them.

The YPG makes up the core of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces militia which helped drive ISIL from territory in eastern Syria previous year.

On Monday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the United States was trying to create a "terror army" and pledged to crush the new force before it came into existence. "More Arabs will serve in areas along the Euphrates River Valley and along the border with Iraq to the south", he said.

It said that the base of the new force is essentially a realignment of approximately 15,000 members of the SDF to a new mission in the Border Security Force as their actions against ISIS draw to a close.

"To prevent any attack. there must be a deterrent force that protects the border between our areas and the others", she added. The imminent transformation of the SDF into the BSF marks the next step in Washington's efforts to legitimize and perpetuate its cooperation with the PKK affiliate in northern Syria.

The words of Turkish President coincide with publication of U.S. plans to train a Syrian-Kurdish force with 30,000 troops on Turkey-Syria border.

With help from Russian Federation and Iran, President Bashar al-Assad's military has regained much of Syria from rebels and from Islamic State.

Backed by the US-led coalition's air strikes, advisers and weapons, the SDF has ousted IS from swathes of territory in the east and north, including IS bastion Raqa.

Islamic State was effectively defeated past year, but Washington says its troops are prepared to stay to make sure the Islamist militant group can not return.

Speaking at the Turkey artisans meeting in the capital, Yildirim said that the U.S.is treating Turkey as its "enemy".

Turkey considers the YPG to be the Syrian arm of the PKK, an outlawed Kurdish group responsible for major terror attacks in the Turkey as part of its bid for national ethnic autonomy.

For much of the war, the United States and Turkey worked together, jointly supporting forces fighting against Assad's government.

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said the US training of the new "Border Security Force" was the reason the USA charge d'affaires was summoned in Ankara while President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said the development was unacceptable.

Two months ago, the U.S. military said it would fight Islamic State in Syria "as long as they want to fight". "Our operations will continue until not a single terrorist remains along our borders, let alone 30,000".

Over 2,000 people-among them Kurdish fighters, Turkish soldiers, and hundreds of civilians-have been killed in the renewed phase of the decades-long conflict, also initially fought in dozens of urban population centers for months.

The ministry called the new USA move as a "renewed conspiracy" that will be brought down by the Syrian army to end any form of presence of the US and its tools in Syria. The SDF now controls almost 25 percent of Syrian territory in the north and east.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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