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America's army of terror on the Turkish-Syrian border

America's army of terror on the Turkish-Syrian border

In an email to Daily Sabah, the US -led coalition's Public Affairs Office said 230 individuals are now receiving training in the Border Security Force's (BSF) inaugural class and that the force will have up to 30,000 members - half of whom would be recruited from the SDF.

The statement that this area will be controlled by forces of up to 30,000 troops in USA command makes fear of division of Syria, "said Lavrov in his traditional press conference to summarize results of year that has just ended".

"The United States has now acknowledged that it is setting up a terror army along our country's borders", Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on January 15.

Turkey has reacted sharply to news of the border force, saying it would "legitimise a terror organisation".

"The US military, whether the commander and chief was [Barack] Obama or now [Donald] Trump, wants to accomplish this job with as light a US troop presence as possible", said Nicholas Heras, a fellow at the Washington-based Centre for a New American Security.

"Our mission is to strangle it before it's even born", the Turkish president added.

Turkey has consistently opposed the coalition's support for the SDF because the force is dominated by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia.

With help from Russian Federation and Iran, President Bashar al-Assad's military has regained much of Syria from rebels and from Islamic State. The imminent transformation of the SDF into the BSF marks the next step in Washington's efforts to legitimize and perpetuate its cooperation with the PKK affiliate in northern Syria.

With the help of air strikes from a US-led coalition, the SDF has captured tens of thousands of square kilometres of territory from Islamic State (IS) militants.

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The force is expected to be deployed along the borders of the SDF-held areas and Iraq and Turkey.

Islamic State was effectively defeated a year ago, but Washington says its troops are prepared to stay to make sure the Islamist militant group can not return.

Moscow is a main backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Turkey supports the Syrian opposition.

The plans of the US-led coalition to form new "Border Defense Force" have sparked angry reaction from Turkey as Ankara has repeatedly accused the USA of arming some of Syrian Kurds, which the Turkish side regards as terrorist groups. "Our operations will continue until not a single terrorist remains along our borders, let alone 30,000".

About half will be Kurdish and Arab SDF fighters and the other half new recruits.

Ankara considers the YPG an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for three decades.

The YPG have occasionally skirmished with the Turkish military and Turkish-backed rebels throughout the Syrian civil war.

A Syrian foreign ministry official said the plan was "a blatant breach of Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity", the state news agency Sana reported. The SDF now controls almost 25 percent of Syrian territory in the north and east.

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