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    The main entrance to the city of Afrin, along Syria's northern border with Turkey

    Syrian Kurds Can't Rely on US, Should Ask Damascus for Protection - Lawmaker

    © AFP 2019 / George OURFALIAN
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States has abandoned Syrian Kurds after years of support, and Damascus is now the only actor that can protect them from Turkey's military campaign, Syrian lawmaker Ahmad Merhi told Sputnik.

    "Kurds have a chance to come back to the Syrian state and to hold serious dialogue, as well as to take part in national dialogue [instead] of fighting. Here I can say that only Syrian state can give a guarantee to Kurds, who tried to get guarantees from the US, but failed, since the US cannot give them this guarantee… In fact, according to local sources, the US troops had started going out of Manbij city, before they announced that it won’t go out of Syria to save Kurds. The fact is that the US has abandoned them," Syrian lawmaker Ahmad Merhi told Sputnik on Thursday.

    READ MORE: Turkey Vows to Start Offensive in E Euphrates if US Pullout From Syria Stalled

    Earlier in the week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to meet with US National Security Adviser John Bolton after the latter said that, despite the announced troop withdrawal, the US military would not leave Syria until Turkey agreed not to attack US-allied Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria. The Turkish authorities called the US official's demands a "huge mistake" and vowed to continue the war against Kurdish forces, which Ankara deems as terrorists.

    This came after US President Donald Trump announced troop withdrawal in December. However, Washington has not established a timeline for the pullout.

    Turkey and the United States have had tense relations in recent years, in part due to Ankara's concerns over US support for the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), viewed by the Turkish authorities as an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, listed as a terrorist organization in Turkey. Ankara has also repeatedly accused Washington of failing to fulfil its promises regarding the withdrawal of the YPG from Syria's Manbij.

    Related:

    Syrian Kurds Vow to Fight 'to Death' in Event of New Turkish Op in Syria - SDF
    Turkey Outraged Over Photos of US Soldiers Dining With Syrian Kurds
    US Responsible for Fueling Separatism Among Some Syrian Kurds - Moscow
    Tags:
    Syrian Kurds, terrorism, Donald Trump, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Syria, United States
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