Turkey Reacts After US Decision to Arm Kurdish Fighters in Syria

Time: 4:35 p.m. CEST

Turkey’s authorities reacted after the United States decision to arm Kurdish fighters that are fighting Islamic States in Syria. Deputy Prime minister of Turkey, Nurettin Canikli said to a Haber TV that arming Popular Protection Units (YPG) would “not be beneficial.” Ankara’s official position about YPG is that is an extension of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, which US labels as a terrorist group.

According to Washington, YPG is essential in recapturing Raqqa, one of the Islamic State group strongholds. Yesterday, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said that the U.S. President Donald Trump gave “authorization to equip Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces,” acknowledging Pentagon’s awareness of the Turkish concerns. Pentagon previously armed only the Syrian Democratic Forces. Even though, White did not mention particular weaponry, other U.S. officials said, “it might include 120 mm mortars, machine-guns and lightly armored vehicle,” BBC News reports.


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