14:45 GMT14 August 2020
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    US support for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units in its operation to liberate Syria’s Raqqa might entail an armed Arab-Kurdish conflict because of the Kurdish units' military actions in areas traditionally inhabited by Arabs, vice-president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces Abdul Hakim Bashar told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump approved the supply of arms to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the military branch of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), saying that this measure was necessary to ensure a victory over Daesh in its de-facto capital, Raqqa.

    "US reliance on PYD in the liberation of Raqqa will increase tension between America and Turkey. … But the greatest threat is the outbreak of an armed Arab-Kurdish conflict because of the PYD actions in places beyond its geographical presence," Bashar, who is also a senior representative of the Kurdish National Council, said commenting on Trump's move.

    He added that the Raqqa operation "must be done through its inhabitants and the Free Syrian Army," an association of Syrian opposition's armed factions.

    "The liberation of Raqqa from IS is a strategic necessity and serves stability in Syria, the region and the world, but we should choose carefully the parties that will do that," Bashar pointed out.

    Ankara, which considers the PYD to be an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a designated terror organization in Turkey, had insisted that Washington should rely on Turkey-trained Syrian rebels in the assault on Raqqa instead of supporting Kurdish militia.

    The Euphrates Rage operation to retake Raqqa was launched by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in November 2016 with the support of the US-led international coalition.


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