US working to establish YPG state in northern Syria, Moscow says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

The United States is seeking to establish a quasi-state, which would be controlled by the PKK terrorist group's Syria affiliate, Russian Gen. and Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov said on Wednesday, adding that the entity in question would be independent from Damascus.

"They [U.S.] are also forming a government for the so-called Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. The Americans, that support the Kurds' separatist sentiments by delivering arms and military equipment, allow them to oppress Arab tribes," Gerasimov was quoted as saying by Russian TASS news agency. Gerasimov was referring to the People's Protection Units (YPG), which received military and logistical support from Washington, despite its links with the PKK, a group included on terror lists by the U.S., European Union and Turkey.

Ankara has long criticized Washington for its backing of the YPG terrorists, saying that delivering thousands of truckloads of armaments to the group is not in line with the strategic partnership between the two NATO allies as the armament of the terrorist group poses a national security threat to Turkey. The U.S. administration, however, sees the YPG as its "most effective partner" in the fight against Daesh terrorists.

The YPG aims to establish an autonomous region in northern Syria, which is also a threat to Syria's territorial integrity. The group's human rights violations in regions under its control have been documented by international human rights groups and also the United Nations.

While the U.S. supports the YPG clearly, the EU has not stood against the group, despite its clear links with the PKK terrorist group.

Turkey-Russia efforts

continue in Idlib

Meanwhile, the efforts by Turkey and Russia on maintaining the cease-fire in Idlib, northwestern Syria, are continuing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

Zakharova added that while not all radical groups have left the designated 20-kilometer wide demilitarized zones, Turkey continues to exert efforts to ensure their withdrawal. The Sochi agreement was reached on Sept. 17 between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The deal established a cease-fire in the Idlib region, the last opposition stronghold in Syria, on the condition of the withdrawal of heavy arms and extremist groups from the region. Prior to the agreement, the Bashar Assad regime was signaling an expansive military operation in Idlib, sparking fears in the international community of a new humanitarian crisis.

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