01:03 GMT +3 hours28 May 2016
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A member of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) mans a mounted machine gun in the Al-Nashwa neighbourhood in the northeastern Syrian province of Hasakeh on July 26, 2015

Doomsday for Daesh? Kurds Allegedly Plan to Seal Syria's Border With Turkey

© AFP 2016/ DELIL SOULEIMAN
Middle East
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Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1672)
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The Syrian Kurds could deal a major blow to Daesh: the People's Protection Units (YPG) allegedly plan to push the terrorist group out of key cities in northern Syria and seal a 60-mile stretch of the border with Turkey, which the militants have used to smuggle fighters, weapons and supplies to the battlefield, Reuters reported.

The Kurds, who already control the Syrian border with Turkey to the east of the Euphrates, plan to seize the towns of Jarablus, Manbij and Azaz, an unnamed source told the news agency.

Turkish authorities will likely take the news of the YPG's plans poorly. On the one hand, Ankara has failed to secure the porous border area despite repeated promises to address the issue, thus contributing to Daesh's resilience and longevity. On the other hand, the Turkish leadership views the YPG as a terrorist organization.

Turkish riot police use a water cannon to disperse Kurdish demonstrators during a protest against a curfew in Sur district and security operations in the region, in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey January 17, 2016
© REUTERS/ Sertac Kayar
Turkish riot police use a water cannon to disperse Kurdish demonstrators during a protest against a curfew in Sur district and security operations in the region, in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey January 17, 2016
In addition, the AKP, Turkey's ruling party, has carried out a military operation against Kurdish militants in its southeastern provinces. The crackdown, which many across the world have condemned, was launched after a two-year long ceasefire collapsed in mid-2015.

Turkey has repeatedly warned that it would not allow the Kurds to cross west of the Euphrates. Yet, the Kurds are one of the few forces that are capable of fighting against Daesh and other radical groups, who are trying to expand their reach in Iraq, Syria and beyond.  For its part, Ankara's anti-Daesh efforts have been limited in scope and efficiency.

A Syrian Kurdish militia member of YPG patrols near a Turkish army tank as Turks work to build a new Ottoman tomb in the background in Esme village in Aleppo province, Syria. (File)
© AP Photo/ Mursel Coban
A Syrian Kurdish militia member of YPG patrols near a Turkish army tank as Turks work to build a new Ottoman tomb in the background in Esme village in Aleppo province, Syria. (File)

Nevertheless, Turkey has succeeded in blocking Kurdish participation in the UN-backed peace talks, although Russia and the United States have been in favor. Representatives of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Kurdish political party in northern Syria which formed the YPG in 2004, were not invited to take part in the talks, scheduled to begin this week.

On Wednesday, the Turkey's National Security Council issued a statement saying that the PYD and the YPG could play "no role in the future of Syria."

Moscow has long insisted that all parties to the conflict, except terrorists, need to take part in the peace process. Otherwise, it will not bring a lasting peace to the war-ravaged country. On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated that without the PYD the negotiations would not lead to "a final political settlement."

Topic:
Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1672)
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Tags:
Syrian peace talks, Kurds, Syrian conflict, Daesh, Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Turkey, Syria
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  • Well turkey doesn't should be involved in the talks and if the Syrian Kurds manage to do that it will be a serious step towards encercling those terrorists. Hope it will happen.
  • marcanhalt
    Turkey: the mouse that roared. Turkey is living in a fantasy world. Because the US has gone on record as saying that Turkey is a key player in the Middle East, Turkey has adopted a rigor mortis persona as the result of that image. The stigma, of course, that Turkey does not grasp is that like Noriega and Panama, they are a "throw away" banana republic after they have served their purpose, and they will to their own demise. What pajama-clad dictators have ever survived when dealing with a country like the US that has lost its way?
  • FlorianGeyer
    The back stabbing Turkish elite have been watching far too many Hollywood films about American derring-do with their flabby friends from the US.

    Perhaps they should instead look at the fate of despotic warlords throughout history. A grizzly fate awaits them.
  • Alabama Mothman
    Nato and the EU are the most CORRUPT force on the earth. Now hey are going to give them a f'ing navy for christ sakes.
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