Syria's Kurds criticise Damascus 'threats'
Syria's Kurds have criticised the "threatening language" of the Damascus regime after it pledged to retake north-eastern areas they control by reconciliation or by force, AFP reported Tuesday (March 19th).
The minority have largely stayed out of Syria's war, instead carving out a de-facto autonomous region across a large swathe of northern and north-eastern Syria.
That region is held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces who have been battling the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) with backing from the international coalition.
Syrian Defence Minister Ali Abdullah Ayoub on Monday said his government would recapture all areas held by the SDF "in one of two ways: a reconciliation agreement or... by force".
In a statement late Monday, the semi-autonomous administration slammed his comments.
"The Syrian defence minister's statement regarding the SDF... reflects the continuation of the racist and sterile policy that has led Syria to this disastrous situation," it said in a statement.
"The use of threatening language against the SDF who have liberated and protected the north and east of Syria from terrorists only serves those forces working to divide Syria," it said.