Syrian Kurdish militia says it's getting Russian training

Russia and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia have signed a bilateral agreement establishing a Russian military base in northwestern Syria, a YPG spokesman said Monday.

The agreement, which took effect Monday, is meeting with opposition from Turkey, which said it would not allow a "terror region" to be established in northern Syria, Reuters reported.

Turkey rejects any role by the Kurdish YPG forces in northern Syria, and considers the YPG as an affiliation of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)-designated by Turkey as a terrorist organization.

"It is the first [agreement] of its kind", he added.

But even this is looking problematic for Turkey, as east of the Euphrates, the YPG has continued to amass gains over ISIS, and the current USA plan is to back a Kurdish invasion of the ISIS capital of Raqqa, giving them control over another large city and surrounding area in Syria's northeast.

Kurdish troops in Syria.

President Higgins leads tributes to Martin McGuinness
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YPG - or the People's Protection Units - is also allied to the United States in the fight against ISIL, and is playing a major part in the US-backed offensive against ISIL's urban stronghold of Raqqa, further east.

Jandaris has previously been shelled by Turkish forces from across the nearby frontier, Xelil added. He said Russian troops already have arrived in the area. "We have direct relations with Russian Federation", the YPG said.

Moscow will set up a military base in the Kurdish-controlled town, he said, as Russian military police entered Afrin on Monday.

Each fighter will reportedly receive a monthly salary of $200, which is $20 above the maximum wage now paid to YPG fighters. Ankara is supporting Syrian rebels fighting IS in northern Syria but whose forces are surrounded by two Kurdish cantons.

Xelil said the new battalions were not taking part in the operation to encircle Raqqa.

"There are no plans to deploy new [Syria] military bases on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic", it said. The Kurds, systematically persecuted for years by the Syrian state, say their aim is not independence.

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