Syria's Kurdish-controlled regions approve federal system

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By Rodi Said RMEILAN, Syria (Reuters) - Syria's Kurdish-controlled northern regions voted to seek autonomy under a federal system on Thursday, angering both the Damascus government and neighboring power Turkey with a move that could complicate new U.N.-backed peace talks. The vote to unite three Kurdish-controlled provinces appears aimed at creating a self-run entity within Syria, a status that Kurds have enjoyed in neighboring Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. The proclamation is nevertheless an open challenge to many of the sides in Syria's 5-year-old civil war, as well as their international sponsors, who have mainly been battling for control of what they say must remain a unified state and have dismissed any unilateral move toward federalism.