US to establish 30,000-strong PKK terror army along Syria's border
MİDDLE EAST

US to establish 30,000-strong PKK terror army along Syria's border

Anti-Daesh coalition to form border security force with US-backed SDF, which is controlled, manned by PKK/PYD terrorists

News Service AA

The U.S.-led international coalition against Daesh will establish a 30,000-strong new border security force with the SDF -- the U.S.-backed group that is largely controlled and manned by the PKK/PYD terrorist organization in Syria -- a U.S. military official said Sunday.

"The coalition is working jointly with the SDF to establish and train the new Syrian Border Security Force (BSF)," Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the US-led coalition, officially known as Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) said in a written statement sent to Anadolu Agency.

"Currently, there are approximately 230 individuals training in the BSF's inaugural class, with the goal of a final force size of approximately 30,000," he added.

Earlier in the week, local sources told Anadolu Agency that the PKK/PYD -- PKK's Syrian affiliate which has seized a quarter of Syrian territory -- was forming a so-called army with the U.S. support.

Some 400 so-called "border guards" trained by the U.S. through the Pentagon and the CIA formed a so-called "The North Army", said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to security concerns.

They were also provided with both theoretical and technical information as well as military training and high-tech equipment. According to the sources, this new structure would comprise of mainly the terrorist PKK/PYD.

Dillon said efforts were taken to ensure individuals served in areas close to their homes. "Therefore, the ethnic composition of the force will be relative to the areas in which they serve.

"More Kurds will serve in the areas in northern Syria. More Arabs will serve in the areas along the Euphrates River Valley and along the border with Iraq to the south."

Stating that it was not an entirely new force with regard to recruitment and initial training, Dillon said half of the 30,000-strong force were SDF veterans.

He also said that recruitment and training process for the other 15,000 members of so-called the Border Security Force had begun.

This development hence explains why the U.S. charge d‘affaires, Philip Kosnett was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara last week.

Following Dillon's statement, Turkey's presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said the U.S. "takes worrisome steps towards legitimizing the PKK terrorist group's Syrian offshoot, PYD-YPG under the pretense of 'fight against Daesh'".

In a written statement, Kalın said the steps also aimed to provide a permanent place for the terrorist group in the region.

"This situation is totally unacceptable," he said, adding Turkey had the right to fight all terror groups in any manner, time and place it deemed fit, and would continue to take necessary measures to ensure its security in line with national interests.

"Turkey will continue its resolute fight against all kinds of terrorist organizations within and outside its borders -- regardless of whatever name or methods those groups use -- as per the statements of Mr. President [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan]," Kalın concluded.

Turkey has long protested U.S. support for the PKK/PYD while Washington sees it as a "reliable ally" in its fight against Daesh in Syria.

Listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, the PKK has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, leading to the deaths of more than 40,000 security forces and civilians -- including more than 1,200 since July 2015 alone, when it resumed its armed campaign against the Turkish state following a fragile cease-fire.

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