Syria’s main Kurdish groups have emerged as one of the few winners of the Syrian war, and are working to entrench their autonomy over swathes of northern Syria.

The United States has about 2,000 troops in Syria fighting Islamic State, and has said it is prepared to stay in the country until it is certain Islamic State is defeated, that stabilization efforts can be sustained, and there is meaningful progress in U.N.-led peace talks on ending the conflict.

The Syrian government in Damascus has declared the United States an illegal occupation force, and its SDF allies as “traitors”. A top Syrian Kurdish politician told last week the United States appeared in no hurry to leave Syria.

BEIRUT/ISTANBUL () – The U.S.-led coalition is working with its Syrian militia allies to set up a new border force of 30,000 personnel, the coalition said on Sunday, a move that has added to Turkish anger over U.S. support for Kurdish-dominated forces in Syria.

U.S. support for the SDF has put enormous strain on ties with NATO ally Turkey, which views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – a group that has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey.

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