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Syrian Kurds Declare Federal Region In Country's North

Syrian Kurdish leaders have declared a separate federal region in northern Syria, a move swiftly rejected by the government and an opposition coalition.

The announcement of a federal region was made after a meeting involving Kurdish, Arab, and Turkmen leaders in the northern town of Rmeilan on March 17.

Aldar Khalil, a member of the meeting's preparatory committee, said delegates had agreed on creating a "federal system" unifying the three mainly Kurdish cantons in northern Syria.

Syria's state news agency said the Kurdish declaration "has no legal basis" and would "encroach on Syria's territorial unity.”

The opposition National Coalition warned in a statement against "any attempt to form entities, regions, or administrations that usurp the will of the Syrian people."

Syrian Kurdish political groups said they made the decision to seek a federal state after being excluded so far from United Nations-brokered peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition in Geneva.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters