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16 January 2018, 12:54 | Katrina Lee
Erdogan Says Turkey Will Crush 'Terror Army' in Northern Syria
On the just-announced U.S. plan to form a border army led by the terrorist PKK/PYD, Erdogan said: "The U.S. has admitted to forming a terrorist army along the Turkish border", vowing that Turkey would kill that army before it is born.
Syrian Kurdish officials are mobilising citizens to defend the town of Afrin as Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Monday that an attack was imminent.
Turkey objects to the creation of the border force, seeing the Kurdish militia in Syria as an extension of an active Kurdish insurgent group operating in the country.
Backed by the US -led coalition's air strikes, advisers, and weapons, the SDF has ousted IS militants from swaths of northern and eastern Syria.
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Chairman of the Defence Committee of Russia's State Duma Vladimir Shamanov told local media Russian Federation would undertake measures as a response to the US-led coalition's decision to create the "so-called Border Security Force".
Since the USA confirmed training new force in northern Syria, tensions with Turkey have been running high, with Ankara accusing Washington of building a "terrorist army".
Both the US-led coalition and the SDF declined to comment on potential rules of engagement with Turkish or Syrian troops.
"Turkey is a valued member of a 74-member Coalition and a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partner, sharing our mission to ensure the lasting defeat of (IS) in Iraq and Syria. We know this. This is not what allies do", Mr Erdogan said.
The move has added to Turkish anger over US support for Kurdish-dominated forces in Syria.
With its inaugural class now in training, the new force will guard the borders of SDF territory. "This will enable the Syrian people to establish effective local, representative governance and reclaim their land". "Ultimately, it means creating a huge separate territory on borders with Turkey and Iraq, and east of Euphrates River".
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The YPG is the main component of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a force that includes Arabs and has been at the forefront of the fight against the "Islamic State" (IS). Some 230 cadets have already been recruited to the new border force, according to the coalition. It should be remembered that every operation conducted in Syria is associated with certain risks, "said Professor Zhengiz Tomar, dean of the Faculty of Political Science at Marmaray University".
The U.S. has violated its pledge to end its cooperation with the PKK's Syrian affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed People's Protection Units (YPG) as soon as the war against Daesh ends, revealing its intention to use a terrorist group to further what it misperceives as its own interests.
Turkey has long protested USA support for the PKK/PYD, while Washington has brushed off these criticisms, saying it needs the terror group's help to fight Daesh in Syria.
"Don't stand between us and these herd of murderers".
"With the Idlib operation, we are collapsing the western wing", he said, in reference to Afrin.
The Turkish leader warned the U.S.to "take your insignia off the uniforms of terrorists so we do not have to bury them in the ground with the terrorists".
A YPG spokesman in Afrin, Rojhat Roj, said new Turkish reinforcements could be seen arriving at the border overnight.
A statement by Dersim's Ankara-appointed governor's office said the curfew, starting from Tuesday, covers parts of five districts, among them the central one, Ovacik, Pulumur, Hozat, and Nazimiye.
For his side, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that the United States is not intending on preserving the Syrian sovereignty. But they came together a year ago along with Iran, another Assad ally, to set up "de-escalation" zones that have reduced much of the fighting. First of all, it is safe to assume that Turkish-U.S. relations will hit rock bottom in light of the most recent developments.
Assad's government also condemned the USA plans for the border force, calling it "a blatant encroachment upon the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Syria", and a violation of worldwide law.
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