Tillerson Says US Has No Intention To Build Border Force In Syria

On Wednesday, Turkey's National Security Council said the Ankara government would not allow the formation of a "terrorist army" alongside its southern border, slamming the United States for its commitment in training the Syrian Kurds in ensuring an "enduring defeat of [IS]".

"I think it's unfortunate that comments made by some left that impression", he said, without giving details.

The YPG is in turn the lead component of the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which was created in 2015 to fight the Islamic State and now controls northeast Syria. "That is not what we're doing", adding that the USA owes Turkey an explanation.

The statement came after the top USA diplomat met with Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu on the sidelines of the Vancouver meeting.

Rather, he said, the USA military will provide training to local elements to help secure areas that were liberated from the Islamic State, with US assistance, over the past three years.

"We can not allow history to repeat itself in Syria", Mr. Tillerson said during a speech at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University near San Francisco.

There are controversial statements coming from the USA, said Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on January 18 regarding US support for the Kurdish militia on Turkey-Syria borders.

The PYD/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, which has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU. Turkey considers the Syrian YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group, which has fought a bloody insurgency in southeast Turkey for more than three decades. The training would focus on existing elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDC), the US' main ally in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

"This is not a new "army" or conventional "border guard" force", the statement said. "Turkey's security concerns are legitimate", it said.

Doing his best to address Turkey's fear, Tillerson said plans for the region "must not threaten any neighboring states".

US forces in Syria have already faced direct threats from Syrian and Iranian-backed forces in the country, leading to the shoot-down of Iranian drones and a Syrian jet past year, as well as to tensions with Russian Federation. "The training is created to enhance security for displaced persons returning to their devastated communities", Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said in a written statement sent to state-run Anadolu Agency, as Turkey readies to launch an operation against Afrin to clear the area of elements it considers terrorist.

"As we have seen from Iran's proxy wars and public announcements, Iran seeks dominance in the Middle East and the destruction of our ally Israel", he said.

"It is also essential so that ISIS can not reemerge in liberated and ungoverned areas".

"These forces will protect the local population and help prevent ISIS from launching new attacks against the US and its allies and partners, pending a longer-term political solution to the Syrian civil war in Geneva", the statement read.

Turkey has meanwhile dispatched tanks and troops to the Syrian border, where they appear poised to launch an attack on another Kurdish-controlled enclave outside the area where the United States maintains troops.

According to the coalition, it is working with its militia allies in Syria to build a new border force, which will number 30,000 personnel, half of which will be SDF veterans.

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