Turkish official: U.S. ‘playing with fire’ building ‘terrorist army’ to guard Syrian border

A high-ranking Turkish official claims the United States-led effort to build a Border Security Force whose mission would be to secure a portion of Syria’s border held by friendly forces is ill-conceived and will backfire.

The U.S. is creating “terrorist army” under the guise of border security forces in northern Syria, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag.

“This is not the fight against Daesh and terrorism, but their support,” Bozdag wrote on his Twitter page.

The Turkish official was reacting to a published news report claiming that the Border Security Force would be 30,000-strong and be responsible for guarding territory currently controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) along part of Syria’s border.

The U.S.-led coalition said that part of the force will be retrained SDF fighters — a coalition of militias that battled ISIS and which is dominated by Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units), a group Turkey considers a terrorist faction. [source]

(Analyst Comment: None of this would matter except that Turkey is a NATO member and appears to be looking for any reason at all to criticize the U.S. and eventually break from the West altogether as Ankara moves closer to Moscow. At some point the military alliance will have to reconsider Turkey’s usefulness and commitment.)

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Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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