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Syria's Afrin gets council after Kurd militia ousted: Turkish media

AFP  |  Istanbul 

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 and allied rebels from last month, said today.

in January launched an operation into to root out the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia in the enclave and drove the group from the city on March 18.

has branded the YPG a terrorist group linked to outlawed (PKK) which has waged an armed rebellion against the state since 1984.

Eleven of the 20-member interim council were elected by the Kurds, eight by Arabs, and one by Turkmens, the agency reported.

Zuheyr Haidar, a Kurdish representative, was elected of the council, it added. Haidar, quoted by Anadolu, said the local council would defend Syria's territorial integrity.

has always argued the YPG disrupted the ethnic balance of northern and insisted its fight is against the militia group and not themselves.

The future of after the Turkish campaign has already become a source of tension.

Russian Sergei Lavrov, whose country allowed to enter Syrian air space for the operation, said this week that Afrin should be "returned to the control of the "

In response, Turkish 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.

The comments were the toughest yet by Erdogan targeting after forged a close alliance with in recent months to find a to the crisis.

Turkey and are on opposite sides in Syria, with remaining the chief ally of Bashar al-Assad's regime and backing rebels seeking his ouster.

However they have put differences aside to work closely on ending the conflict, in what analysts say is partly a bid to outflank the at a time of tension with the West.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 22:30 IST