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U.S. Rejects Self-Governed Zones In Syria After Kurds Declare Federal System

The United States says it does not recognize self-governed zones inside Syria, after Kurdish parties declared the establishment of a federal system in areas they control in the country's north.

"We don't support self-ruled, semiautonomous zones inside Syria,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby on March 17. “Whole, unified, nonsectarian Syria -- that's the goal."

The Syrian Kurds’ declaration was also dismissed by Damascus and the Western-backed opposition National Coalition. Turkey has also warned against such a unilateral move.

The plan to declare a federal system across northern Syria was approved at a meeting involving Kurdish, Arab, and Turkoman leaders in the town of Rmeilan.

The new federal region would include three Kurdish-controlled enclaves bordering Turkey and mainly Arab and Turkoman areas captured from the Islamic State extremist group.

Syrian Kurdish political groups have been excluded from UN-brokered talks in Geneva aimed at finding a political solution to end the five-year civil war.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters