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Photos hint US forces may be working with female Kurdish fighters

Photos hint US forces may be working with female Kurdish fighters
© Getty Images

U.S. Special Forces in Syria may be working with female Kurdish fighters in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, if recent photos are any indication.

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Recently published photos of U.S. special operations forces in Syria, taken by an Agence France Press photographer, showed one of the U.S. soldiers wearing a "YPJ" patch — which stands for Yekîneyên Parastina Jin, or the Kurdish Women’s Defense Units.

A high-resolution copy of one of the photos clearly showed a U.S. soldier wearing a YPJ patch. 

A U.S. military spokesman, when asked by The Hill whether any of the troops were wearing YPJ patches, said it was hard to tell.  

"You know, I looked at them and it was hard to tell. You know, it wasn't — the resolution on those pictures wasn't the best. So I don't know, you'd have to take a close look. I only scanned them on our internet, which you can tell from this connection is not the best, so," said Army Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve.

The U.S. soldiers have been ordered to remove the patches. Warren said although the "Special Forces community has a long and proud history of wearing such patches when they're partnering with forces around the world," in this specific case, it was not authorized.