05:53 GMT +324 January 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States has never pledged to the Syrian Kurds that it will help them create an autonomous Kurdish state in Syria, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on Friday.

    "We live up to our obligations, and our obligation, our agreement, our understanding with the Kurds was this, that we would work together to fight in Syria to defeat ISIS," Esper said. "But nowhere, at no point in time did we tell the Kurds, we will assist you in establishing an autonomous Kurdish state in Syria nor would we fight against the longstanding ally Turkey on your behalf."

    On 6 November, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced they had resumed cooperation with the US-led international coalition in Syria, which is operating in the country without the approval of the Syrian government or the UN Security Council.

    The United States decided to withdraw its troops from northeastern Syria in October, after which Turkey began a military offensive against Kurdish forces in the region. Soon thereafter, the United States agreed to a ceasefire with Turkey.

    At the end of November, US Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey announced that the US military was going to continue supporting the SDF in keeping the oil resources in Syria out of the reach of Daesh*.

    *Daesh (also known as IS/ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State) is a terrorist group banned in Russia

    Tags:
    Mark Esper, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Syrian Kurds, Daesh, Syria, United States
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