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U.S. rejects self-governed zones in Syria after Kurdish autonomy vote

A Turkish Kurd holds a flag during the funeral of three Kurdish fighters killed during clashes in Kobani, in this October 23, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/Files

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department, responding to a Kurdish bid for autonomy in northern Syria, said it did not recognized self-governed zones inside the war-torn country and was working for a unified, nonsectarian state under different leadership.

“We don’t support self-ruled, semi-autonomous zones inside Syria. We just don’t,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby.

“What we want to see is a unified, whole Syria that has in place a government that is not led by (President) Bashar al-Assad that is responsive to the Syrian people. Whole, unified, nonsectarian Syria, that’s the goal,” Kirby said, adding that other countries supported that aim as well.

Reporting by David Alexander, editing by G Crosse