258 fighters have finished training to joint so-called security forces of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the SDF’s media wing reported on January 23.
The fighters likely finished the program developed by the US under its initiative to establish a 30,000-strong “border force” in northeastern Syria. The idea faced a strong resistance from Turkey and became one of the reasons behind the Ankara’s Operation Olive Branch in the SDF-held area of Afrin.
On January 18, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Washington’s intentions had been “misportrayed” and it had no plans to establsih “a border security force”. This statement clearly contradicted to the Pentagon’s official announcements. and does not mean that the program was really halted. Most likely, the “bordr security force” just changed its name as Kurdish YPG/YPJ militias were rebranded into the SDF.