US 'Playing With Fire' by Building 'Terrorist Army' in Syria - Turkish Deputy PM
11:56 15.01.2018(updated 12:48 15.01.2018) Get short URL
The plans of the US-led coalition to form new "Border Defense Force" have sparked angry reaction from Turkey as Ankara has repeatedly accused the US of arming some of Syrian Kurds, which the Turkish side regards as terrorist groups.
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.
"This is not the fight against Daesh and terrorism, but their support," Bozdag wrote on his Twitter page.
Ankara's resentment was prompted by the article published on the Defense Post news website on Saturday, in which the spokesman of the US-led coalition fighting against Daesh said that the coalition was engaged in training of a 30,000-strong force on the Syrian territory currently controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to maintain security in controlled area along the Syrian border.
According to the coalition, the half of the planned force will be retrained SDF fighters, an alliance of militias in Syria dominated by the Kurdish YPG (People's Protection Units), which Ankara regards as a terrorist group associated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), banned in the country.
On Sunday, a Turkish senior official told Reuters that it was reason why the US charge d'affaires was summoned in Ankara on Wednesday, as relations between Washington and Ankara remain strained due to US military support for the Kurdish YPG units.
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