US to use 30,000 border troops for security in Syria

09:28 • 15.01.18



The US-led coalition is working with a Syrian Kurdish group to set up a new border force of 30,000 personnel, the coalition said on Jan. 14, a move that has added to Turkey’s anger over US support to the group in Syria.


A senior Turkish official told Reuters the US training of the new “Border Security Force” is the reason that the US charge d’affaires was summoned in Ankara on Jan 10. The official did not elaborate, according to Hurriyet Daily News.


The force, whose inaugural class is currently being trained, will be deployed at the borders of the area controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - made up mostly of People’s Protection Units (YPG)
militants.


In an almost immediate reaction to the American move, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said that Turkey has the right to defend itself against "terror groups" on its own terms and time, and that the U.S. stance on the issue is "unacceptable," state-run Anadolu Agency reported.


"Turkey will continue to take all necessary precautions aligned with its national interest to preserve its national security," Kalin added.


US support for the SDF has put enormous strain on ties with NATO ally Turkey, which views the YPG as a terrorist group for its link with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

 

In an email to Reuters, the coalition’s Public Affairs Office confirmed details of the new force reported by The Defense Post. About half the force will be SDF veterans, and recruiting for the other half is underway, the coalition’s Public Affairs Office said.


The force will be deployed along the border with Turkey to the north, the Iraqi border to the southeast, and along the Euphrates River Valley, which broadly acts as the dividing line separating the U.S.-backed SDF and Syrian government forces backed by Iran and Russia.


The coalition said the BSF would operate under SDF command and around 230 individuals were currently undergoing training in its inaugural class.

 





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