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Syrian Arab-Turkmen Leader Decries US Arming Of PKK/PYD

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Policy of arming terrorists will lead to ‘destruction’ of region’s people, VP of Syrian Arab/Turkmen Association warns

Omer Dede, vice-president of the Syrian Arab and Turkmen Tribes Association, warned of the potential dangers of Washington’s new policy of arming the PKK/PYD terrorist group.

"If the PKK/PYD is supplied with weapons, the demographic structure of the region will be altered," Dede told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.

"All the region’s Arabs and Turkmen -- especially those in the [Daesh-held] city of Raqqah -- will be sent into exile," he said.

"We strongly oppose Washington’s policy of arming PKK/PYD forces," he added.

Dede went on to assert that the region’s Arabs and Turkmen hoped the U.S. would soon reverse the policy, which, he warned, could eventually lead to the “destruction” of the local population.

“We, as Syrians, are upset with this abrupt policy shift by the U.S.,” he said, “as we continue to dream about a return to our homeland.”

He added: “If Turkey goes into the region, we as Syrians will do our best to stand with Turkey. Of this there is no doubt.”

If Arabs and Turkmen received assistance, he stated, they themselves could take on both the PYD/PKK and the Daesh terrorist group.

''Syria’s Turkmen and Arabs -- even the Kurds -- will never accept a terrorist organization as the ruling authority in our region,'' he declared.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon announced that U.S. President Donald Trump had authorized the U.S. Defense Department to equip "Kurdish elements" of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) "to ensure a clear victory" over Daesh in Raqqah.

U.S. support for the SDF -- a multi-ethnic force that includes PKK/PYD elements -- has recently brought Turkey’s relations with Washington under strain.

The PYD and its armed wing, the YPG, are the Syrian affiliates of the PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.

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