Turkey will not allow arming Kurds in Syria, army chief says

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday denied that the United States had any intention to build a Syria-Turkey border force, saying the issue, which has incensed Ankara, had been "misportrayed".

"It's unfortunate that entire situation has been mis-portrayed, mis-described, some people misspoke", he said.

But he also made it clear that the open-ended deployment is meant to help create enough stability for Syrians to be able to remove Assad from office and reject Iranian influence.

On Monday, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country is ready "at any moment" to start an operation in the besieged border area of Syria.

A senior Turkish official said the training of the new border force was the reason the USA top diplomat stationed in the country was summoned to Ankara last week, Reuters reported.

Akar was expected to meet with U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford on the sidelines of the defense chiefs meeting.

"We can not and will not allow support and arming of the YPG terrorist group under the name of an operational partner". He said the actions of the United States don't correspond to the spirit of ally relations with Turkey.


The BSF will be largely made up of SDF veterans, most of whom are Kurdish YPG fresh off their fight against ISIS. It said however that the alliance did not have a presence on the ground in Syria and that the matter was an issue for the US -led anti-IS coalition, which includes dozens of countries.

When asked about USA plans to help support a 30,000-strong force dominated by the mainly Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), he said it could lead to Syria's partition. Some 230 cadets have already been recruited to the new border force, according to the coalition.

Turkey this week escalated its threats against Kurdish forces in Afrin, which it views as an extension of the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).

The speech was used by Tillerson to signal a deeper American commitment to Syria.

Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union deem the PKK a terrorist group.

Squeezing Iran will, therefore, be one of the foremost goals of the continued US troop presence in Syria, he said, acknowledging that the project will be hard.

Sejari said his delegation had briefed USA officials on Iran's "destructive" role in Syria, where Shi'ite Muslim militias led by Lebanon's Hezbollah have, along with Russian air power, have turned the tide of the conflict in Assad's favor.


French citizens are among the biggest contingent of overseas fighters who have joined IS, with around 1,000 nationals estimated by counter-terror officials to have traveled to Iraq and Syria. "By maintaining an American military presence in Syria until the full and complete defeat of ISIS is achieved, it will soon have two".

"The U.S. has admitted to setting up a terrorist army along our country's borders".

Erdogan added that arming Kurdish forces Ankara believes to be linked to the banned PKK party is "completely unacceptable".

The remarks also are a significant departure from President Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric, which maintained that the only objective the U.S. should have in Syria is fighting ISIS, and are likely to revive debates in Congress between staunch advocates of regime change and those who fear an open-ended commitment to a United States presence in Syria.

Instead, he argued that the USA role will provide stability to allow a UN-led peace process to resume and find a Syrian-led alternative to Assad s rule and the Iranian presence.

"This is about making sure that ISIS is truly defeated and the conditions for its regeneration are eliminated", said Andrew J. Tabler, a Syria specialist at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Twenty aid trucks Wednesday headed from Turkey to the war-battered northern Syrian city of Idlib. Neither the US nor any other country with a stake in the Middle East can afford to ignore that. The Defense Department's language is nearly word for word what the US policy toward Iraq was during former President George W. Bush. Washington won't allow global reconstruction aid to flow to any part of Syria under Assad's control, he said.


Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) fires rifles at a drone operated by Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria June 16, 2017. The U.N. mediation has languished for years without any progress and fighting between Assad's military and rebel groups persists.

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