Syrian Kurds form their own army
A member of Liwa (Brigade) Salahadin, a Kurdish military unit fighting along side rebel fighters, aims at a regime fighter in the besieged district of Karmel al-Jabl in eastern Aleppo. (TOPSHOTS/AFP PHOTO/JAVIER MANZANO)
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Syrian Kurds who took control of areas in the north of the country earlier this year are creating an independent army, according to Middle East news portal, Elaph.
This year Kurdish residents, backed by PYD militiamen, took control of towns near the border with Turkey as pro-government forces withdrew to fight elsewhere, sparking tensions with rebel forces.
Having established their own government, an independent army is reportedly being formed.
The head of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria, Sherkoh Abbas, reportedly told Elaph: "The main goal of our army is to protect the territory of Syrian Kurdistan from any armed intervention, whether Assad's forces or Islamist militant groups."
To prevent the spread of radical Islam in Syria, both the US and western European countries have reportedly offered military and financial assistance to support the establishment of an independent Kurdish army.