Syrian Kurdish leader hopes new force will counter threats from Turkey, Damascus

Posted January 16, 2018

The US is creating a "terrorist army" under the guise of border security forces in northern Syria, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Monday.

The source concluded by renewing the Syrian people and army's steadfastness and determination to thwart this conspiracy, end the presence of the United States, its agents and tools in Syria, establish full control over the entire Syrian territory and preserve the country's sovereignty, territorial integrity and the unity of its people.

Turkey can not afford to let the United States - or any other country, for that matter - create an army of terrorists across its southern border.

"Turkey will suffocate this terror army before it's born", he said.

The alliance fighting the Islamic State group announced on Sunday that it was working with Arab and Kurdish fighters to establish a Border Security Force (BSF).

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Mr Erdogan has repeatedly threatened to attack Afrin, which is held by the PYD militia known as the People's Protection Units, or PYG. "More Kurds will serve in the areas in northern Syria".

The PKK/PYD is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the USA, and EU.

"The Border Security Force will be stationed along the borders of SDF-held areas, to include portions of the Euphrates river valley and worldwide borders to the east and north of SDF-liberated territory", the coalition said.

The US-led coalition provided significant military and logistical support to the SDF as it beat back Isis (Islamic State) militants across Syria. According to him, it could be assumed that, against the backdrop of the near-complete liquidation of DASH in Syria, the United States would prefer not to intervene in the events as they did during the Iraqi Kurdistan referendum.

The announcement naturally fueled anger in Turkey, as officials from the president to the leaders of all mainstream opposition parties expressed concern.

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Turkey regards the Kurdish YPG militia, which will form part of this force, as a terrorist group.

Speaking today at the opening of an Ankara factory, Erdogan said it was his Government's duty "to drown this terrorist force before it is born".

The Turkish president said that "despite it all" he wanted to work with the USA in the region and hoped it would not side with the YPG during the Afrin operation.

"It is absolutely not possible for this to be accepted", he said, adding that Turkey "will continue its fight against any terrorist organisation regardless of its name and shape within and outside its borders".

The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Monday slammed the US bid to form an armed militia in northern Syria as a flagrant violation to Syria's sovereignty, stressing resolve to end the USA presence in Syria, according to state news agency SANA.

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"What the American administration has done comes in the context of its destructive policy in the region to fragment countries ... and impede any solutions to the crises", state news agency SANA cited a foreign ministry source as saying. The SDF now controls almost 25 percent of Syrian territory in the north and east.