Ankara urges US to stop hundreds of SDF troops from fighting its forces in Afrin
Turkey on Wednesday urged the United States to prevent Kurdish-dominated militia from redeploying to Afrin in order to counter a Turkish military operation in the Syrian region, a presidential spokesman said.
Turkey and allied Syrian rebels are waging a weeks-long offensive in Afrin, which is held by a Kurdish militia that makes up the bulk of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
On Tuesday, SDF commander Abu Omar al-Idlibi said 1,700 of his fighters - mostly Arabs from northern Syria whose families had sought refuge in Afrin - would be sent to defend the enclave in the coming week.
The fighters would be relocated from the front lines of the fight against the Islamic State group.
As a result, the US-led coalition declared an "operational pause" to its anti-IS fight in eastern Syria on Monday.
The 50,000-strong YPG has allied with the US in eradicating the Islamic State group from northern Syria and have been armed by the US since May 2017.
Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is deemed a terrorist group by the US, the EU and Turkey.