Syrian's Assad - U.S. will sell out those relying on it

Syrian President Bashar Assad

Syrian President Bashar Assad

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has warned Kurdish forces battling against ISIS not to rely on America's support against a possible Turkish attack, saying: "They will not protect you".

The threat was issued Monday by Army Lieutenant General Paul LaCamera, commander of the United States led coalition in Syria.

Syrian Kurdish leaders hope to safeguard their autonomous region after all of the more than 2,000 U.S. troops withdraw.

On the same day, Assad warned the Kurds that the US would abandon them, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency notes.

But they fear that Turkey, which regards the Kurdish YPG militia as a terrorist group, will attack them once Donald Trump withdraws US troops from the country.

"To those groups who are betting on the Americans, we say the Americans will not protect you", Assad warned, Military Times reported on Monday.

The Syrian leader suggested that the USA had sold out its Kurdish partners, whom it had backed in the fight against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), as well as other rebel groups still working with Washington.

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"We will continue to train and arm them as long as they remain our partners", the top USA general reportedly observed, praising the SDF's contribution to the near-complete annihilation of ISIS's physical caliphate. The U.S. has partnered with local Kurdish militias in the fight against the Islamic State group. But Islamic State still has thousands of fighters, who, now dispersed, are expected to turn to guerrilla-style hit-and-run attacks.

But LaCamera's comments make clear that the SDF may have to choose between backing from Assad, Russia or the United States.

A top Kurdish official has called on Europe not to abandon Syrian Kurds once the battle against the Islamic State group is over and to help set up an global force to protect them from Turkey. Assad, who has vowed to recover the entire country, has long opposed Kurdish ambitions for a federal Syria.

In the wake of U.S President Donald Trump's announcement in December that American troops will be pulled out of Syria, the SDF has reluctantly turned to Assad and Russian Federation for assistance in repelling a prospective Turkish offensive.

European powers "have a political and moral responsibility" to the Kurds, Aldar Khalil told AFP in a interview in Paris, warning that the Kurds would seek the protection of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if failed by Europe and the US. "The Americans will put you in their pockets so you can be tools in the barter, and they have started with (it)".

Turkey, which has been battling a Kurdish insurgency on its own soil since 1984, views the Kurdish fighters that dominate the SDF as terrorists and has threatened to invade areas under Kurdish control in northeast Syria. He described opposition officials chosen for the constitutional committee as "agents" of Turkey, which backs anti-Assad rebel factions in northwest Syria.

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