Syrian Kurdish militia says it's getting Russian training

21 March, 2017, 10:57 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Briton 'will always be proud' of stint with Kurdish militia fighting IS

Turkey will not accept a "region of terror" in northern Syria and the ethnic structure of the area should be kept intact, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday, comments that appeared aimed at a Syrian-Kurdish militia.

The YPG-Russia agreement was finalized Sunday, Xelil told Reuters.

But even this is looking problematic for Turkey, as east of the Euphrates, the YPG has continued to amass gains over ISIS, and the current USA plan is to back a Kurdish invasion of the ISIS capital of Raqqa, giving them control over another large city and surrounding area in Syria's northeast.

The U.S. -backed YPG has proven to be one of the most effective forces battling the Islamic State group, and has carved out a semi-autonomous zone along the Turkish frontier.

The 10 new units and other new battalions to be formed this year will be trained in all forms of combat, weaponry and tactics, with the aim of turning the YPG into a more organised force that resembles a traditional army, Xelil said. "After our forces proved themselves against terrorism, many forces want to help our units and arrange a deal with us", the YPG concluded. He said Russian troops already have arrived in the area.

"It provides for Russian Federation to set up a military base and train Kurdish fighters", he said.

Officials say their revenue streams include taxes on agricultural produce, and income raised by selling oil from fields in northeastern Syria, though they say only enough is sold to meet local needs.

Hemo told Reuters that the YPG aimed to "fight terrorism" everywhere in Syria, while its political priority was "guaranteeing the rights of the Kurdish people in Syria legally, constitutionally".

"There are no plans to deploy new [Syria] military bases on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic", it said.

Turkey considers the YPG, which is part of a USA -backed militia fighting Islamic State in northern Syria, to be a terrorist group and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Assad has vowed to take back all of Syria.

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