US sending arms to Syrian Kurds: report

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The U.S. military has begun providing Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces with equipment and weapons, according to a new report.

The provisions are aimed at helping Kurds in the SDF fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), NBC News reported Tuesday.

NBC confirmed the aid with two U.S. defense officials, one of whom noted that America began giving the tools in the past 24 hours.

{mosads}Neither of NBC’s sources provided details on what equipment the U.S. is sending to SDF Kurds or how the items are being delivered.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan earlier this month strongly criticized President Trump’s decision to arm Syrian Kurds in the fight against ISIS. Turkey considers the SDF Kurds to be terrorists and an extension of outlawed Kurdish insurgents within its borders.

“I hope very much that this mistake will be reversed immediately,” he said, according to Foreign Policy.

“We want to believe that our allies would prefer [to] be side by side with ourselves rather than with the terror groups.”

U.S. officials announced earlier this month that Trump had signed off on a plan “to equip Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces” in the fight to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from ISIS.

“The SDF, partnered with enabling support from U.S. and coalition forces, are the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement.

NBC earlier this month reported that some of the items headed to SDF Kurds include ammunition, armor, bulldozers, communication gear, engineering equipment and rifles.

The SDF is a coalition of Arab and Kurd fighters in Syria that has been working to retake Raqqa, ISIS’s de facto capital since 2014.

Tags ISIS Islamic State in Iraq and Syria Kurds Military National security Recep Tayyip Erdoğan SDF Syria Terrorism Turkey
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