U.S. plans to directly arm Syria Kuds against Islamic State
U.S. plans to directly arm Syria Kuds against Islamic State
10 May, 2017, 00:55
In a sign of recent tensions, Turkish warplanes carried out air strikes against Kurdish YPG fighters in northeastern Syria and Iraq's Sinjar region late last month, killing less than 30 fighters, according to one estimate.
The Syrian Democratic Forces is an umbrella organization of 40,000 fighters that includes both Syrian Kurdish and Arab rebel groups fighting ISIS in Syria.
But she called the Syrian Democratic Forces "the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future", an indirect pushback on Turkish proposals that the United States abandon its support of the YPG and instead rely on other Turkish-backed rebels for the crucial mission.
Acknowledging the long-held concerns of Turkey, the Pentagon statement said, "we are keenly aware of the security concerns of our coalition partner Turkey".
"We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the U.S.is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally", according to the statement.
The Pentagon said that it would continue prioritizing the arming of Arab forces in Syria, but acknowledged Ankara's concerns in the statement announcing the decision.
The source added that the United States would "seek to recover" the equipment afterwards.
About 200 Indonesian prisoners in mass jailbreak There was a spate of breakouts in 2013, including one where about 150 prisoners - including terror convicts - escaped from a jail. The prisoners broke out after pulling down a gate near a mosque located inside the prison complex shortly after Friday prayers.
The intent is to restrict the distribution and use of the weaponry by permitting its use for specific battlefield missions and then requiring the Kurds to return it to USA control.
The U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Tuesday called his Turkish counterpart Fikri Işık to discuss joint anti-terror operations against the Daesh terrorist group's so-called capital Raqqa in Syria.
The announcement comes one week before Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to visit Washington and meet Trump. An Erdogan adviser, Ibrahim Kalin, met on Tuesday with Thomas Shannon, the State Department No. 2 official.
The U.S. alliance with Turkey has proven decisive in the battle against Islamic State in Syria, providing the coalition with access to Turkey's Incirlik air base to wage strikes against the militants, officials say.
Speaking Tuesday in Denmark, Mattis says the USA and Turkey don't necessarily agree on the "path forward" but are "going to sort it out". "We are going to further accelerate this fight", Mattis said.
Mattis also met with Basat Öztürk, the deputy undersecretary at the Turkish defence ministry, during the anti-Daesh conference. "We'll figure out how we're going to do it".
The instability has concerned Washington, which fears it will slow the effort to retake Raqqa. Associated Press writers Richard Lardner and Matthew Lee contributed from Washington.
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