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Iran warns US-backed border force will ‘fan the flames’ in Syria

By AFP - Jan 16,2018 - Last updated at Jan 16,2018

TEHRAN — Iran on Tuesday denounced a plan by the US-led coalition to create a 30,000-strong border force in northeastern Syria, saying it would complicate efforts to end the country's war.

"It is a clear intervention by the United States in the internal affairs of other countries, makes the Syrian crisis more complicated, creates more instability, and fans the flames in this country," state news agency IRNA quoted foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi as saying.

On Sunday, the US-led alliance fighting the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq said it was working with Arab and Kurdish fighters to establish a 30,000-strong Border Security Force (BSF) in Syria.

The BSF, expected to be set up over the next several years, would be responsible for preventing a "resurgence" of Daesh in areas where the extremists had been cleared by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), it said.

Iran, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, has sent thousands of fighters to Iraq and Syria to battle Daesh as well as other extremists and Syrian rebels.

Iranian "military advisers" have also played a major role supporting the Syrian regime. 

Ghasami said the timing of the announcement was "significant" as it came "at a time when Syrian forces and their allies have achieved great victories in the fight against Daesh and Al Nusra Front terrorist", referring to Daesh and the former Al Qaeda affiliate.

Daesh has lost much of its strongholds in Syria, where the regime, backed by its Russian ally, has been pounding terrorists and rebels in the northwestern Idlib province.

Syria has condemned the coalition's "border security force" plan, and said any Syrian taking part would be considered as a "traitor".

 

Turkey has also reacted sharply, saying the border force would "legitimise a terror organisation".

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