U.S. to set up 5 observation posts in every SDF-controlled town bordering Turkey - YPG

The United States is preparing to set up five “observation posts” in every town under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) bordering Turkey, Russian Sputnik news reported, quoting a mainly-Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) spokesperson.

The U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis said last Wednesday that the U.S. military would be building observation outposts in northern Syria along the Turkish border to help keep the focus on defeating Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Syria, with reports indicating the construction of five outposts in total.

Washington has long complained that tensions between Turkey and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, have at times slowed down progress on its battle against the Islamic State in the region. Turkey designates the YPG a terrorist organisation because of the group’s tight links with Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, who are fighting a bloody insurgency within Turkey.

The U.S. will be protecting the YPG not just on the ground, but in the air, too, a senior official of the YPG, Gelo Isa, told Sputnik news.

"The United States wants to protect northern Syria through this move,’’ Isa said. ‘’Turkey didn’t want this, but it will be forced to comply. Turkey previously said that it was being attacked, but now these observation points will unveil who the attacks are being conducted by.’’

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said Ankara was uneasy about U.S. plans to set up “observation posts” in Syria along parts of its border with Turkey, stressing they would have a very negative impact on perceptions of the United States in Turkey.