ISTANBUL (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday the United States was trying to create a "terror army" on Turkey's southern frontier by training a Syrian border force that includes a Kurdish militia, and pledged to crush it before it came into being.

"A country we call an ally is insisting on forming a terror army on our borders," Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara. "What can that terror army target but Turkey?"

"Our mission is to strangle it before it's even born."

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On Sunday, the U.S.-led coalition said it was working with the mainly Kurdish YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to set up a new 30,000-strong border force.

The plan has infuriated Turkey, which considers the YPG to be an extension of the PKK, a Kurdish group waging an insurgency in southern Turkey and deemed a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and European Union.

"This is what we have to say to all our allies: don't get in between us and terrorist organisations, or we will not be responsible for the unwanted consequences," Erdogan said.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, January 10, 2018. Yasin Bulbul/Presidential Palace/Handout via
Reuters

"Either you take off your flags on those terrorist organisations, or we will have to hand those flags over to you ...Our operations will continue until not a single terrorist remains along our borders, let alone 30,000 of them."

Erdogan also said that Turkey's armed forces had completed preparations for an operation against the Kurdish-controlled region of Afrin in northwest Syria and the town of Manbij.

(Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun and Ece Toksabay; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by David Dolan)