Turkey, Middle East

Turkey rejects US plan to train local forces in Syria

US announced last week it will train 35,000 to 40,000 locals in Syria against Daesh

Nilay Kar   | 11.12.2018
Turkey rejects US plan to train local forces in Syria

By Burcu Calik


Turkey is skeptical about a U.S. plan to train around 40,000 locals in northeastern Syria, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party spokesman said Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters in capital Ankara, Omer Celik expressed concern over a reported U.S. plan to train 35,000 to 40,000 people in northeastern Syria.

“We do not see them as well-intentioned approaches."

He added that the move will be seen by Turkey as lending fresh support to terror elements in Syria.

Last week, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Dunford announced that the US-led coalition is planning to train 35,000 to 40,000 locals to stabilize the northeastern part of Syria by defeating Daesh.

Turkey has repeatedly objected to U.S. support for the terrorist YPG/PKK in Syria, which Washington considers "a reliable ally" in the fight against Daesh.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the death of some 40,000 people, including women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.

Turkish and U.S. troops began joint patrols in Manbij, Syria on Nov. 1 as part of an agreement that focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region.

Celik also condemned acts of vandalism during the protests in France, saying that both vandalism and democracy do not coexist.

“We are opposed to both vandalism and excessive force to be used towards the demonstrators,” he said.

In his speech, Celik rejected reports that Hakan Fidan, head of Turkey's spy agency, briefed U.S. senators during his visit to the country about the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in early October.

After initially saying he had left the consulate alive, Saudi Arabia admitted weeks later that he was killed there, blaming his death on a group of rogue Saudi operatives.

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