MIDDLE EAST

Syrian Turkmens reject US budget for PKK/YPG terror group

SYRIAN TURKMENS REJECT US BUDGET FOR PKK/YPG TERROR GROUP

The Syrian Turkmen Assembly said Tuesday the U.S. military's claim of needing $550 million for its war against Daesh is "unacceptable".

"It is unacceptable that the Pentagon requested a $550 million budget for the PYD/YPG/PKK terror group hiding behind the excuse that it is for fighting against Daesh," the assembly said in a statement.

Touching on Turkey's Operation Olive Branch, which is aimed at clearing PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria, the statement said Daesh is a threat to Turkey's national security and the Syrian people.

It also noted the PYD/PKK terror group's torture of Syrians and its forceful recruitment of children.

"We see this support for the terror group as part of the aim to divide Syria, and [we] condemn it," the statement added.

The Pentagon on Monday requested $300 million to train and equip the PYD/PKK terror group, which goes by the name of the SDF, and wanted nearly as much to build a "border security force" led by the terror group in Syria.

The military's budget proposal for 2019 also contains $850 million for train-and-equip activities in Iraq to counter Daesh.

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