Extending influence in Syria, Russia says it will train Kurdish troops

Briton 'will always be proud' of stint with Kurdish militia fighting IS

The YPG, also known as the People's Protection Units, is mostly made up of Kurdish men and women fighting against IS in northern Syria.

"It is the first (agreement) of its kind", he added.

Turkish officials have been increasingly complaining to the U.S. about backing the Kurdish YPG, who they insist6 are "terrorists", and insist that the Kurds must not retain any territory west of the Euphrates after the war.

Though Turkey continues to reiterate its displeasure, it is unclear there is much they can do about Kurdish expansion in Syria, as embedded United States troops are making a direct Turkish attack likely much too unsafe to contemplate.

The spokesman also said that the YPG aims to expand its fighting force by almost two-thirds to more than 100,000 fighters.

"This step is a positive and good step in the fight against terrorism in Syria". Since then the Russians supported the Kurds in Afrin/Efrin, while the US-led coalition supports the YPG in the Cezire (Hassakah) and Kobani cantons.

March Madness 2017: Sweet 16 set, Duke falls to SC
But then came three straight wins all by double figures before hitting the MI buzzsaw in the Big Ten Tournament championship game. MI looks poised to go on another run, the mighty ACC has just 1 team left in the dance, and Scott Drew MIGHT be a good coach.

It will also likely anger Russia's ally Turkey. This despite the fact that Turkey was against any form of participation by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) -YPG's political leadership- in the Syrian peace talks, afraid this would give more legitimacy to the PYD. He said Russian troops already have arrived in the area. American and Russian forces now maintain a presence in two Syrian Kurdish enclaves adjoining the Turkish border.

"It provides for Russian Federation to set up a military base and train Kurdish fighters", he said.

His comments at news conference in Ankara came after the Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia said Russian Federation was setting up a military base in northwestern Syria and would help train YPG fighters. He declined to say if the new training programme was supported by any foreign militaries.

It added that a section of its "reconciliation centre", which Russian Federation says helps negotiate local truces between the warring sides in Syria, was located in Aleppo province near Afrin for the prevention of ceasefire violations.

Turkey has launched a cross-border offensive along a section of the Turkish-Syrian frontier to prevent further gains by the YPG, which controls swathes of northeastern Syria and the Afrin pocket of northwestern Syria.

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