Syrian Kurdish PYD urges action against Turkish bombing of Afrin region

But they are not believed to involve the most prominent Frenchwoman in Kurdish detention, the notorious Islamic State propagandist Emilie Konig, a 33-year-old Muslim convert from Brittany.

TEV-DEM said the People's Defense Units (YPG), Women's Defense Units (YPJ) and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - armed groups supporting the democratic confederalism model - were "acting within the frame of self-defence".

Konig, who features on United Nations and U.S. blacklists of unsafe militants, was captured last month and is being held in a Kurdish camp with her three young children along with several other French women.

"I want to make clear that we'll judge the new government on its actions", she said.

From 2003 to 2008, the US government consistently said that USA troops would not leave Iraq until conditions on the ground allowed doing so.

"The persistence of Assad in power will fuel additional conflict and increase the risk of additional chemical weapons use", Tillerson said.

Much like with Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States can check out of Syria any time but it can never fully leave.

On Thursday, Turkish artillery struck targets in the YPG-controlled region of Afrin in northwestern Syria, as Turkey appeared to continue preparations for an invasion.

USA officials said the plan was to train about 30,000 personnel - half of them SDF fighters - to help prevent infiltration by IS militants across the Turkish and Iraqi borders and parts of the River Euphrates, which effectively divides SDF- and Syrian government-held regions.

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It has especially angered Ankara, which views Kurdish YPG as a terrorist organization - an extension of the Kurdish PKK that has waged an insurgency in Turkey for decades. Turkey regards such a force as a threat to its national security.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan pledged to crush the new force before it came into existence.

"Operating under recognized worldwide authorities, the USA military will continue to support local partner forces in Syria to stabilize liberated territory", said Marine Maj.

As candidate, U.S. President Donald Trump was critical of his predecessors' military interventions in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, Pentagon officials and spokespeople for Operation Inherent Resolve, the anti-ISIS coalition, would not comment on why the United States military was setting up such a force and whether it would require additional USA troops.

Turkey's private Dogan news agency quotes Turkey-backed Syrian rebels as saying they are awaiting Turkish orders to launch the Afrin operations. "The groups that we support are exclusively involved in operations countering Daesh", he added, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. The PKK is considered a terrorist group by the European Union, Turkey and the United States.

While acknowledging that the US-led coalition does not have an official explanation yet, Defense Department spokesman Eric Pahon told Business Insider that the USA has "maintained full accountability and transparency with the Turkish government" and "are keenly aware of the security concerns of our coalition partner Turkey".

"The coalition's mission has not changed: to defeat ISIS in designated areas of Iraq and Syria and set conditions for follow-on operations to increase regional stability", USA army Colonel Ryan Dillon was quoted as saying by the Turkish state news agency Anadolu.

  • Megan Austin