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Saudi-UAE-Kurdish military meeting in northern Syria

May 31, 2018 at 9:19 am

Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) head a convoy of US military vehicles in the town of Darbasiya next to the Turkish border, Syria 28 April, 2017 [Rodi Said/Reuters]

Saudi, Emirati and Jordanian military officials visited an international coalition military base in the Kurdish Syrian region of Kobani yesterday, according to local sources.

Al Jazeera reported that the officials met leaders of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces and field commanders in the international coalition during their 24 hour visit.

The Anadolu Agency said that the visit was aimed at establishing Arab military units in the region whose nucleus would be Al-Sanadid Forces, one of the factions affiliated with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces. Sources stated that in the upcoming period, the units would form one of the Border Guard Forces, with Saudi funding.

The Turkish news agency confirmed that each associate of these units would get $200 per month, and added that points of contact would be established in Al-Hasakah and Qamishli to receive and run the affairs of the associates.

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The news agency also said that the aforementioned meeting was held with officials of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Turkey considers terrorist groups. Anadolu quoted local sources as saying that in April, Saudi Arabia sent aid to the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria.

The news agency added that on October 2017, the Saudi minister of Gulf affairs, Thamer Al-Sabhan, visited the city of Raqqa, which is controlled by the party, and met US officials there.

Turkey rejects any international intervention to support the Syrian Democratic Forces, an affiliate of the outlawed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (PKK).

In April, US President Donald Trump said that Saudi Arabia might have to pay if it wants continuing US presence in Syria.

“We’ve almost completed that task [of defeating Daesh] and we’ll be making a determination very quickly, in coordination with others in the area, as to what we’ll do,” Trump said.

“Saudi Arabia is very interested in our decision, and I said, ‘Well, you know, you want us to stay, maybe you’re going to have to pay’.”

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