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Turkey tells Pentagon Kurdish YPG should be removed from Syrian Democratic Forces

Turkey’s Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Thursday he had told his US counterpart, Jim Mattis, that the Syrian Kurdish YPG should be removed from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Washington is backing the militia in Syria in the fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). Canikli held a briefing to reporters in Brussels after meeting with the US defense secretary. The Turkish minister also said he disputed Mattis’ characterization of the SDF as dominated by Arabs, saying the militia was completely controlled by the YPG, Reuters reports. Canikli’s comments were broadcast live on television in Turkey.