Erdogan: 'The US is building a terror army in Syria'

Erdogan: 'The US is building a terror army in Syria'

Erdogan on Monday said Turkey had to "nip this terror army in the bud".

The Turkish army is beefing up military presence amid high-security alert near the Syrian border Tuesday evening, just as Ankara is bracing to attack a Kurdish-held region in northern Syria, pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV reported.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry slammed the decision on Monday, saying the US bid to form an armed militia in northern Syria is "a flagrant violation of Syria's sovereignty".

According to information Anadolu Agency gathered from reliable sources, families taking a small number of belongings with them were seen leaving the district with their vehicles Tuesday evening.

Moscow, another key player in the region and a vehement supporter of the brutal regime of the Syrian President, Bashar Al-Assad, considers the U.S. plans to be a "dangerous play" because they will lead to an even deeper split within Syrian civil society.

"Our mission is to strangle it before it's even born".

On Saturday, Turkish security forces hit several PYD/PKK targets in Afrin to prevent a "terror corridor" from forming along Turkey's borders.

Russia, a major force in the area, opposed the US plan for a border security force.

"Until a political settlement is reached in Syria, these areas need protection".

Erdogan: 'The US is building a terror army in Syria'

Half of the force will be made up of fighters from the existing Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. It has about 2,000 troops on the ground in Syria. That organization (YPG) considered by Turkey to be a "terrorist group" with ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The move is part of the United States-led effort against the Islamic State group often called IS.

For much of the war, the United States and Turkey worked together, jointly supporting forces fighting against Assad's government.

The Turkish leader also vowed to eliminate the Kurdish threat in northern Syria through an anticipated military campaign in Afrin.

Meanwhile, the Assad government, backed by Russian Federation and Iran, has made great strides over the past two years in defeating a range of opponents, restoring control over almost all of Syria's main cities.

Both Turkey and the US are North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said the planned Kurdish-led force will further complicate the conflict in Syria and is a "blatant intervention" in that country's internal affairs. "But the current USA action shows us that the Americans intend to create and maintain long-term contracts with the terrorist elements of the YPG, whose activities pose a direct threat to Turkey's security", he added. It said the force could lead to the splitting up of Syria. It said any Syrian who joined the force would be deemed "a traitor".

Calling Russia's position on this issue as expressed by Foreign Minister Lavrov "balanced and constructive", Conkar said that the essence of Turkish policy in relation to its Iraqi and Syrian neighbors is aimed at ensuring those countries' stability and territorial integrity, and the accompanying security and welfare of the region as a whole.

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.


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