Erdogan vows to 'choke' Kurdish-led border security force US is building in Syria
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday promised to destroy a new Kurdish-led force the US is helping to build in Syria.
"The US has admitted to setting up a terrorist army along our country's borders. Then, our role is to choke this army of terror before it is born," an angered Erdogan told an audience in the Turkish capital of Ankara.
Erdogan's words, in which he also urged the US to take down its flags at bases in Syria's Kurdish region, were by far his most confrontational reaction to the American alliance with Syrian Kurds in years.
The US-led Coalition last week announced the formation of the new “Border Security Force,” tasked with protecting Syria's mostly Kurdish-controlled eastern and northern borders with its neighbors, Iraq and Turkey respectively.
Ankara initially summoned the US charge d‘affaires over the development, which it described as "worrying and unacceptable."
Washington's move came as Erdogan recently repeated a long-standing threat to invade Syrian Kurdistan, namely the isolated region of Afrin northwest of the civil war-ridden country.
He again singled out Afrin and said the Turkish army was soon to take action.
Kurdish officials have responded to Erdogan by promising fierce resistance and warned against any action as the US and Russia continue to develop military and diplomatic ties with them.
Calling the new force made up of 30,000 US-supported units "a horde of murderers," Erdogan warned the US that Turkey would not be "responsible for unwanted consequences."
He further claimed that the People's Protection Units (YPG)-dominated army would eventually direct their weapons at US soldiers embedded with them.
Editing by Nadia Riva