Turkey Expresses Concern at Setting up of US-backed Kurdish Border Force

Turkey has expressed concern at the creation of an US-backed Kurdish border force in the area east of the Euphrates river controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, a majority Kurdish area .

The 30,000 men-strong force will be deployed at the borders of the area controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made mostly of the Kurdish YPG People’s Protection Units and their Arab allies.

The force will deploy along the border with Turkey to the north, the Iraqi border to the southeast, and along the Euphrates River Valley, which broadly acts as the dividing line separating the US-backed SDF and Syrian government forces backed by Iran and Russia.

Ibrahim Kalinn the Spokesperson for the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced the plans urging the US to end support for the YPG. “The USA is taking worrying steps to legitimize this organization and make it lasting in the region. It is absolutely not possible for this to be accepted,” he said.

Last week, media reports said that the US is planning “concrete steps” to diplomatically recognize the independence of the areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, which emerged as a winner in the war against IS and Syrian regime forces.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis promised to send US diplomats to SDF-controlled areas to work alongside US troops operating in the region, a move that further angered Ankara. Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist organization on an equal footing to the Kurdish PKK rebels in eastern Turkey.

In the face of the rise of the Kurdish forces in Syria, Turkey threatened to unleash an offensive against the Kurdish-controlled Afreen region in northern Syria.

Afreen is a strategic Kurdish-controlled area, whose capture will deal a strong blow to the Kurdish Syrians and their plan to have an autonomy stretching along the Syrian-Turkish border.

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