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Erdogan lashes out at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation over US-backed Syria 'terror army'

Erdogan lashes out at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation over US-backed Syria 'terror army'

Military convoys have moved toward the border with Afrin this week.

The leading Kurdish party in Syria called on the worldwide community on Wednesday to shoulder responsibility for the security of a Kurdish enclave threatened by Turkey, the Associated Press reported. It has criticized the US for extending support and arming the Kurdish forces as part of the campaign that drove the Islamic State militant group from large parts of Syria.

The U.S.'s plan is to carve out a sphere of influence in the middle of West Asia's most risky conflict and have it guarded by the battle-hardened Kurdish forces.

The YPG, however, is the main component of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which also include Arabs.

USA officials said the plan was to train about 30,000 personnel - half of them SDF fighters - to help prevent infiltration by IS militants across the Turkish and Iraqi borders and parts of the River Euphrates, which effectively divides SDF- and Syrian government-held regions.

"Afrin will not be alone", the PYD said in a statement, vowing that all of northern and eastern Syria would stand with it.

"We are not creating a border security force at all". The training is created to enhance security for displaced persons returning to their devastated communities.

"We can not repeat the mistake of 2011, where a premature departure from Iraq allowed al-Qaida in Iraq to survive and eventually become ISIS", Tillerson said, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

Also on Wednesday, the Pentagon said that the controversial new force was not a new "army" or conventional "border guard" force.

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

The European Union, which Turkey once hoped to join, and the Council of Europe - the continent's top human rights and democracy body - have expressed concerns over the state of emergency.

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"We are keenly aware of the security concerns of Turkey, our coalition partner and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally".

The United States heads an worldwide coalition that provided air support and special forces troops to aid the SDF in pushing IS out of its strongholds in northern and eastern Syria past year, including its self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa.

Similarly, Iranian influence inside Syria through Tehran's use of proxy forces alongside its own military presence remains a reality that must be checked, Tillerson said.

Hariri said it was very unlikely that the Syrian opposition would attend a meeting on Syria organized by Russian Federation in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. They claim they have no desire for independence. Ankara also wants to prevent what it views as an embryonic PKK statelet on its southern border.

Reuters quoted him as saying (probably from the same speech): "A country we call an ally is insisting on forming a terror army on our borders", Erdogan said of the United States.

The French government said on January 4 that those detained in Kurdish-held areas of Syria should be left there providing they can be guaranteed a fair trial.

The organisation said the Turkish attacks were aimed at undermining the Northern Syria Democratic Federation and worldwide efforts to solve the Syrian crisis. He said he would get back to me.

Over the long term, the United States and its allies must participate in "stabilization initiatives" across Syria such as de-mining and establishing stable electricity, safe drinking water and other elements of a functioning state, which would be State Department and USAID initiatives backed up by the U.S. military presence, Tillerson said.

The US arms shipments began before the launch of a months-long offensive to remove ISIL from the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Meanwhile, Syrian activists said Turkish military activities near the borders with Afrin have continued, as well as shelling of the outskirts of the town.

One recent development appears to have brought forward Turkey's plans to clear YPG fighters from Afrin and Manbij.