Tillerson says US military will remain in Syria, prevent repeating Obama's 'mistake'

Randolph Lopez
January 18, 2018

The United States must remain both diplomatically and militarily engaged in Syria to protect its own national security interests, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday. "I think it's unfortunate that comments made by some left that impression".

The US-led coalition fighting Daesh in Syria has started to form new "Border Defense Forces" at the borders of the area held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dominated by the Kurdish YPG militias, the coalition's representative told the Defense Post. "That is not what we're doing", adding that the USA owes Turkey an explanation.

According to Reuters, Tillerson told reporters he had met Turkey's foreign minister in Vancouver on Tuesday to clarify the issue.

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.

Tillerson's remarks seemed to signal an indefinite USA engagement in Syria.

The PYD/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, which has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the USA, and the EU.

Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist group due to its link to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Tillerson discussed the way forward for the United States in Syria at an event at the conservative leaning Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

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The US-led coalition, however, acknowledged Turkey's vocal opposition to the training.

"This is not a new "army" or conventional "border guard" force", the statement said. "We are keenly aware of the legitimate security concerns of Turkey, a member of the Global Coalition and a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally".

"The war with [IS] on the ground has ended in Syria", Turkey said in its call on the U.S. to stop supporting the Kurds.

"We must ensure that the resolution of this conflict does not put Iran closer to its goal of controlling the region."And Assad's continued military operations against his own citizens - including the use of chemical weapons, which provoked a military response by the United States last April - have created a humanitarian crisis of millions of refugees and only add to the instability in Syria, the secretary said."The persistence of Assad in power will fuel additional conflict and increase the risk of additional chemical weapons use", Tillerson said.He reiterated U.S. support for the UN-led process that envisions a unified and stable Syrian state without Assad in power, and called on Russian Federation to use its influence with Assad's regime to reach that end."The Assad regime clearly looks to Russian Federation as a guarantor of its security", Tillerson said".

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.

"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.

The spokesman for the US -led coalition, officially known as Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), Ryan Dillon's statement, had said on January 14 that the coalition will establish a 30,000-strong new border security force with the SDF in Syria.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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