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U.S.-led coalition helps to build new Syrian force, angering Turkey

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+Mirumir    5,514

This looks like a last-ditch attempt to chip away a part of Syria.

 

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U.S.-led coalition helps to build new Syrian force, angering Turkey

 

BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The U.S.-led coalition is working with its Syrian militia allies to set up a new border force of 30,000 personnel, the coalition said on Sunday, a move that has added to Turkish anger over U.S. support for Kurdish-dominated forces in Syria.

 

A senior Turkish official told Reuters the U.S. training of the new “Border Security Force” was the reason that the U.S. charge d‘affaires was summoned in Ankara last week, and President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said the development was worrying and unacceptable.

 

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Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that Washington “is taking worrying steps to legitimise this organisation and make it lasting in the region”.

 

“It is absolutely not possible for this to be accepted,” he said, adding that Turkey “will continue its fight against any terrorist organisation regardless of its name and shape within and outside its borders”.

 

Syria’s main Kurdish groups have emerged as one of the few winners of the Syrian war and are working to entrench their autonomy over large parts of northern Syria.

 

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Russia, Turkey condemn US plans for Syria border force

 

BEIRUT — Russia, Turkey and the Syrian government on Monday denounced the U.S.-led coalition plans to form a Kurdish-led border force to secure the areas along Syria’s international border to the north with Turkey and to the east, with Iraq.

 

On Monday, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said the United States is building “a terrorist army under the guise of the Syrian Border Security force.” Bozdag also tweeted that Washington is “playing with fire.”

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the new force is a sign Washington “doesn’t want to preserve the territorial integrity of Syria.” Lavrov said the nascent border force is “not helping calm the situation” and suggested it would only increase tensions.

 

 

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‘Unacceptable’: Turkey slams US-led coalition’s new Syria ‘border force’ using Kurdish militias

 

“The more the Americans support the Kurds and the more Turkey consider them as a national security threat, I think there will be a collapse of the interests of the two NATO countries,” he added.

 

How long before Turkey quits NATO?

 

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FunkyMike    1,719

Erdogan vows to ‘drown’ US-backed Syrian Border Force before it’s born, labels unit ‘terrorist army'

 

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The Turkish president has called US-backed Syrian Border Force using Kurdish fighters a “terrorist army,” vowing to “drown” it before it’s complete. He also added that military preparations against Kurdish-held Afrin are ready.

 

The 30,000-srtrong army of “traitors” that Washington seeks to create will point their guns against US troops at the first threat, Erdogan warned.

 

On Sunday, the US-led coalition announced it is helping to create a new Border Security Force to fight terrorists in Syria. The unit, stationed along the Syrian border with Iraq and Turkey, as well as along the Euphrates River Valley, is expected to be comprised of up to 30,000 people. Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) veterans will make half of the unit, while the other half are yet to be recruited.

...

https://www.rt.com/news/415966-erdogan-syrian-border-force-destroy/

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FunkyMike    1,719

Turkey Notifies NATO Of Imminent Massive Invasion Of Syria To Fight Kurds

 

 

Turkey is poised for an imminent massive ground invasion of Northern Syria to quash Kurdish militia groups currently holding Afrin near the Turkish border. Multiple regional outlets have reported a build-up of forces that could constitute the largest external intervening force thus far in the entirety of the Syrian war.

 

According to Middle East based Al-Sura News, Turkey's military build-up currently underway includes special forces troops, Army units, Turkish-backed Syrian Rebels and Turkey's air force. The Kurdish YPG/J (People's Protection Units) has held Afrin since the Syrian government withdrew from the area in 2012, which constitutes the western-most part of the self-declared Rojava autonomous Kurdish zone.

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Regional outlets Al Jazeera and Al Masdar News have confirmed that the large Turkish convoy has entered northwest Syria and that sporadic fighting against Kurdish forces is already underway. Notably the air force is said to be mobilized - a significant factor as Turkish ground forces, including its proxy rebel forces making up its "Euphrates Shield Operation", have had little success in the past dislodging Kurdish fighters without air support.

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Turkey's current build-up and offensive comes after Dillon's controversial comments on Sunday in which he announced that the US coalition will establish a 30,000-strong new border security force with the SDF in Syria. In claiming to have "nothing to do with" Syrian Kurds operating in Afrin the Pentagon is seeking to distance itself from entering into direct conflict with Turkey in northwest Syria. 

 

Though Turkey has threatened many times before that it will dislodge Afrin from control of the Syrian Kurds, Erdogan might not be bluffing this time. Late on Tuesday he's reported to have phoned NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg in order to inform NATO that the Afrin operation is being launched. 

 

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-16/turkey-notifies-nato-imminent-massive-invasion-syria-fight-kurds

 

Watch The State Department Respond As US Ally Turkey Attacks US-Backed Forces In Syria

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It's not the first time that a US partner force has attacked another US partner force in Syria (and then there's this Vice News headline from 2016 indicating it's sometimes gone three ways: "Three US allies are now fighting each other in northern Syria").

 

 

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As a Pentagon spokesman recently told Defense One: "The Coalition is working jointly with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to establish and train the new Syrian Border Security Force (BSF). 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."

 

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said of the new US-backed Border Security Force, which obviously is to be heavily Kurdish in composition, that it is akin to the US hosting a "terror army" along Turkey's border. Erdoğan has vowed "to strangle it before it’s even born."

 

Meanwhile Turkey has amassed a huge invasion force to oust the YPG from Afrin Canton, and sporadic fighting and shelling is widely reported to have already begun. This as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has indicated "the Unites States will remain in Syria" while continuing to train its SDF proxies and bolster its new "Syrian Border Security Force."

 

Watch as Heather Nauert fumbles through a response to an excellent and obvious question: What is the US position as its NATO ally is shelling its number one ally in the fight against ISIS in Syria?...

 

 

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-17/watch-state-department-respond-us-ally-turkey-attacks-us-backed-forces-syria

 

Syria Vows To Shoot Down Turkish Jets As Erdogan Orders Putin "Do Not Oppose" Assault

 

According to the Associated Press, this morning Syria said it would shoot down any Turkish jets carrying out attacks inside Syria. This comes as preparations continue for an imminent large-scale Turkish attack of Kurdish militia groups currently holding Afrin near the Turkish border.

 

Multiple regional outlets have confirmed a build-up of forces that could constitute the largest external intervening force thus far in the entirety of the Syrian war, including special forces troops, Army units, Turkish-backed Syrian rebels and Turkey's air force.

 

In response to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowing military action to "destroy all terror nests" in Syria - a reference to the US-backed YPG (which makes up the core of the SDF) which holds vast territory along Turkey's border spanning into northeast Syria - the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mekdad told reporters Thursday that Syrian defense systems have regained full operational power and stand ready to destroy Turkish air targets in Syrian airspace should Afrin be attacked. Mekdad also stated that Damascus would consider any Turkish attack on Afrin an act of aggression.

 

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-18/syria-vows-shoot-down-turkish-jets-erdogan-orders-putin-do-not-oppose-assault

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FunkyMike    1,719

Turkish Tanks Cross Into Syria As Ground Offensive Against US-Backed Militia Begins

 

 

Early on Sunday, Turkish ground forces crossed the border and pushed into northern Syria’s Afrin province on Sunday, Ankara said after launching artillery and air strikes on a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia it aims to sweep from its border.

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Turkey sent armored divisions into northwest Syria after a day of airstrikes as part of 'Operation Olive Branch' which bombed Kurdish YPG forces ("People's Protection Units") in and around Afrin to drive the US-allied Kurdish militia from the area. Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army fighters along with Turkish troops are now moving into the area, according to state-run Anadolu news agency.

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https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-21/turkish-tanks-cross-syria-ground-offensive-against-us-backed-milita-begins

 

Turkish Warplanes Begin "Massive Bombing" Of US-Backed Syrian Kurds

 

In a sharp escalation of Turkey's military campaign against the US-backed Syrian Kurdish YPG, on Saturday Turkish warplanes fired missiles and launched "massive bombing" of Kurdish targets in Syria's Afrin, NTV television reported.

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https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-20/turkish-warplanes-begin-massive-bombing-us-backed-syrian-kurds

 

 

Gazprom receives permit to build second line of Turkish Stream gas pipeline

MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/.

 

Gazprom received an authorization from Turkish authorities to build the second line of the offshore segment of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline to Turkish coast, the Russian gas holding said on Friday.

More:
http://tass.com/economy/985931

 

 

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+FloatingFatMan    14,140

Oh look! Once again the Turks are carrying out their most favourite of all pass times, killing Kurds!

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+Mirumir    5,514

 

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US trying to create ‘quasi-state’ on large part of Syria’s land – Lavrov

 

The US has likely taken a “course to create a quasi-state” in the Kurdish SDF militia-held regions of Syria, despite the proclaimed adherence to the territorial integrity of the country, Russia’s FM Sergey Lavrov said.

 

The US activities in Syria are driven by undertaking “dangerous, unilateral steps” instead of trying to “achieve a common understanding” between all the parties, Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday.

 

He warned that Washington’s true goal might be the partitioning of Syria. The recent steps of Washington, including the creation of the so-called Border Security Force (BSF), operating under the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), have prompted even more questions in Moscow.

 

“We’ve raised these questions multiple times but have not received a coherent answer besides a general motto ‘Don’t’ worry we’re for the territorial integrity of Syria.’ In reality, it looks otherwise though,”Lavrov stated.

 

The recent US steps "look more and more like a part of a course to create a quasi-state of sorts on a large chunk of Syrian territory,”Foreign Minister said. “Autonomous, independent from Damascus governing bodies are being created in this territory, money keeps flowing there to keep them functional. Law enforcement, created there, is receiving weaponry.”

 

The UN should pay attention to this situation and take steps to prevent any “external players” from “jeopardizing the principles of reconciliation set by the Resolution 2254,” Lavrov said. Such actions on part of the UN are especially important after the reconciliation process received a “powerful impulse from the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi.” The reconciliation process should definitely include representatives of Syria’s Kurdish minority, the official stressed.

 

“Russia has been from the very beginning and remains a supporter of a direct Kurdish participation in all the efforts on Syrian reconciliation. Kurds are an inseparable part of the Syrian society,” the official stressed.

 

Earlier on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed the US plans to allocate $200 million to “stabilize” SDF-controlled areas of Syria. The top US diplomat made the announcement during a meeting of foreign ministers of the US-led anti-Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) coalition in Kuwait.

 

It’s doubtful, though, that the funding would go to actually “stabilizing” these territories, but might actually be spent on additional arms for the US-backed militias in Syria, which would contribute to escalating of the conflict instead, the director of the British think-tank Gnosos, Middle East expert Ammar Waqqaf believes.

 

“The real thing is, we believe, that the United States is preparing the ground for a long-term separation, or a permanent, actually separation of the eastern and the north eastern part of Syria from the Syrian state under the guise of the Kurdish-led democratic sort of state,” Waqqaf told RT. “The $200 million that are being pledged today are not going to bring back electricity and water to the devastated Raqqa, we believe, but probably bring more weapons to the Kurds, which is going to put some pressure on other minorities in the region to accept Kurdish supremacy under the United States’ umbrella.

 

 

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