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US sends forces to Syria's Hasakah to train blacklisted Kurdish militants: Report

File photo of militants of the PKK-linked Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG)

The US military has reportedly dispatched American troops to the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakah in persisting efforts to extend military training to anti-Damascus Kurdish militants affiliated with the PKK terrorist group.

A contingent of 70 American Special Forces were transferred to Hasakah through Iraq on 28 November, to provide weapons and training to the US-sponsored PKK and YPG militants that largely make up the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Turkish official Anadolu agency reported on Friday, citing local sources.

According to the report, the American soldiers arrived in the town of Rmelan -- where the US maintains an airbase -- and engaged on December 1 in training what it referred to as “hundreds of YPG/PKK terrorists” on the use of light, medium and heavy weapons, “as well as raids and infiltration methods of villages.”

Sources of the report, who spoke on condition of anonymity, further unveiled that some of the "terrorists" would be sent to the Ash Shaddadi district in Hasakah and the Omar oil field in Dayr al-Zawr after completing the 30-day military training, and the remaining "terrorists" would stay in Rmelan.

Ankara views the US-backed YPG (Kurdish People's Protection Units) as the Syrian branch of the homegrown and outlawed PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984 and remains designated as a terrorist group by the US, the European Union and Turkey.

Washington and Paris, however, have previously supported YPG/PKK militants and provided them with military training in the eastern Syrian regions of Hasakah and Dayr al-Zawr, resulting in strained relations with Ankara, the report noted.

The development came just days after a roadside bomb struck a convoy of trucks carrying military equipment and logistic supplies for US troops in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah.

Syria’s official news agency SANA, citing local sources, reported that the blast took place on Wednesday when the convoy of vehicles was passing near Semalka border crossing.

The sources added that two vehicles went up in flames after the attack.

The attacks come as the American military has stationed forces and military equipment in eastern and northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists.

Damascus, however, insists that the unlawful deployment is intended to plunder the country’s rich resources.

Former US president Donald Trump admitted on several occasions during his term in office that American forces were in the war-ravaged country for its oil.

After failing to oust the Syrian government with the help of its foreign proxies and direct involvement in the destructive terror campaign across the Arab nation, the US government has now stepped up its economic war on the country. 

Back on November 22, a convoy of three US armored vehicles was forced to turn around and head back in the directions it came from after locals intercepted it in the village of Hamou, which lies on the southern outskirts of Qamishli city. The villagers threw stones at the convoy.

SANA reported at the time that the convoy was accompanied by a car belonging to US-sponsored and Kurdish-led militants affiliated with the SDF.

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