human rights watch

torsdag 11 maj 2017

US Department Of Defence to provide 'limited arms' to Kurdish fighters in Syria

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US Department Of Defence to provide 'limited arms' to Kurdish fighters in Syria
Yesterday, the President authorized the Department of Defense to equip Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces as necessary to ensure a clear victory over ISIS in Raqqa, Syria," chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said in a statement referring to ISIS' self-declared capital.

The equipment provided is set to include small arms, machine guns, construction equipment and armored vehicles, a US official told CNN. The supplies and weapons will be parceled out to be just enough to accomplish specific objectives related to Raqqa, the official added.

It is a move that has long been under consideration at the Pentagon but has been delayed due to strong opposition from American NATO ally Turkey.
Ankara sees the Kurdish fighters in the Syrian Democratic Forces -- known as the YPG -- as closely linked to the PKK, an internationally designated terror group that has carried out attacks against Turkey. The US views the two Kurdish groups as distinct organizations.
The US official said several administration brass, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, talked to Turkish interlocutors Tuesday to explain the US decision.
Mattis met with counterparts in Copenhagen Tuesday as part of a conference focused on the ISIS fight, also attended by the Turkish minister of defense.

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