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Erdogan: We Will ‘Strangle’ U.S.-Backed Force in Syria “Before It’s Even Born”

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  • Erdogan: We Will ‘Strangle’ U.S.-Backed Force in Syria “Before It’s Even Born”
    by Ellen FrancisEzgi Erkoyun,
    BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Monday to “strangle” a planned 30,000-strong U.S.-backed force in Syria “before it’s even born,” as Washington’s backing for Kurdish fighters drove a wedge into relations with one of its main Middle East allies.

    The United States announced its support on Sunday for plans for a “border force” to defend territory held by U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led fighters in northern Syria.

    The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad responded on Monday by vowing to crush the new force and drive U.S. troops from the country. Assad’s ally Russia called the plans a plot to dismember Syria and place part of it under U.S. control.

    But the strongest denunciation came from Erdogan, who has presided as relations between the United States and its biggest Muslim ally within NATO have stretched to the breaking point.

    “A country we call an ally is insisting on forming a terror army on our borders,” Erdogan said of the United States in a speech in Ankara. “What can that terror army target but Turkey?”

    “Our mission is to strangle it before it’s even born.”

    Erdogan said Turkey had completed preparations for an operation in Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria. The Kurdish-led regions in Syria say they need the border force to protect them against threats from Ankara and Damascus.

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January 17, 2018 - Posted by | GeoPolitics | , , , , , , , ,

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