Civilian representatives from Kurd, Arab and Turkmen communities have set up a council in the northern Syrian town of Afrin, which was taken by the Turkish army and allied rebels from Kurdish militia last month, state media said today.
Zuheyr Haidar, a Kurdish representative, was elected president of the council, it added. Haidar, quoted by Anadolu, said the local council would defend Syria's territorial integrity.
The future of Afrin after the Turkish campaign has already become a source of tension.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whose country allowed Turkish air force to enter Syrian air space for the Afrin operation, said this week that Afrin should be "returned to the control of the Syrian government."
In response, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticised Lavrov's "wrong approach." "We will give Afrin back to its inhabitants when the time comes but we will determine the time, not Mr Lavrov," Erdogan retorted.
However they have put differences aside to work closely on ending the conflict, in what analysts say is partly a bid to outflank the United States at a time of tension with the West.
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