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Syrian Kurdish PYD urges action against Turkish bombing of Afrin - statement

Syrian Kurdish PYD urges action against Turkish bombing of Afrin - statement

He said actions by the United States in Syria were not befitting the alliance between the two countries and said the US support for the Kurdish YPG forces was "inexplicable".

The YPG is part of an alliance with a number of ethnic Arab militias called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

About half of the projected 30,000-strong force is to come from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-dominated force that the US organized to fight ISIS.

Syria's dominant Kurdish party appealed on Wednesday to the U.N. Security Council to act quickly to ensure the safety of a Syrian Kurdish enclave that has been threatened with a military operation by Turkey.

Iran has been Syria's closest ally in the country's almost seven-year civil war against Sunni rebel forces.

With US backing, the YPG, the main element of the SDF, has seized swathes of territory in northern and eastern Syria from IS and established semi-autonomous rule in those areas.

The U.S. -led coalition declined to comment on Erdogan's threats.

It has especially angered Ankara, which views Kurdish YPG as a terrorist organization - an extension of the Kurdish PKK that has waged an insurgency in Turkey for decades.

The US move to form the border force has been rejected by Tehran, Damascus and the Syrian opposition. "Our duty is to drown this army of terror before it is born", Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara.

Citigroup earnings top expectations, excluding $19 billion charge for tax law changes
Other lenders, including JPMorgan Chase & Co, also have exposure to Steinhoff, which has been embroiled in an accounting scandal. In all, $19 billion of the massive charge was related to Citigroup's deferred tax assets, the largest amassed by any USA bank.

Russian Federation and Turkey, along with the government in Damascus, have also criticized the US/Kurdish plan.

USA troops completed a withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, eight years after they toppled Saddam Hussein's rule, only to return in much lower numbers in 2014 to fight the Islamic State. Since then, Turkey's ties with Russian Federation have warmed as relations with the US have deteriorated.

News broke on Saturday that the USA was helping the SDF build a new "border security force".

In 2016, the Turkish military supported a Syrian rebel offensive that drove IS militants out of the key towns of Jarablus and al-Bab and stopped SDF fighters moving westwards towards Afrin.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani later told the visiting Syrian parliament speaker that the USA plan is a "plot" against Syria's territorial integrity and security, according to comments posted on the president's website. The YPG is the backbone of a Syrian force that drove ISIL from much of northern and eastern Syria with the help of USA -led airstrikes.

"Let us be clear, the United States will maintain a military presence in Syria focused on ensuring ISIS can not re-emerge", Tillerson said.

It could bring two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies into direct conflict and also have a major impact on relations between Turkey and Russian Federation. An offensive without its approval might prove hard for Turkey and open a major new front in a war that activists say has already cost more than 340,000 lives.

Kurdish officials say there could be 1m people living in Afrin.


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