Syrian Kurdish forces say they will push on to IS capital

Syrian Kurdish forces say they will push on to IS capital

So the USA can make some concessions to ease Turkey's concerns: promising that it has no intention of recognizing a sovereign Kurdish state, for example, or that it will cut off the arms flows if there is strong evidence weapons are flowing across the border to Turkish Kurds, or that Turkish forces can remain in control of the city of al Bab, west of Raqqa, which they conquered in February.

On Monday, the Pentagon announced that President Trump had signed an order instructing the United States military to provide small and medium arms directly to Syrian Kurds fighting against ISIL (ISIS, Daesh), provoking anger and alarm in Turkey.

A US-backed alliance of Arabs and Kurds will launch their final assault on the Islamic State group's Syrian bastion Raqqa in early summer, commanders from the force said Friday.

Earlier this week, the U.S. announced it would arm the Kurdish elements of the SDF for the fight for Raqqa - dubbed Operation Wrath of the Euphrates.

Turkey views the Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought the state in the south-east of Turkey since 1984 and is considered a "terrorist group" by the USA and EU. Thus, the SDF was created. The Kurdish militia force has emerged as America's most capable proxy there, but Turkey maintains it's a terrorist organization and has actively targeted the group's fighters in recent weeks. "He was very clear that the USA regards the PKK as a terrorist organisation and will start tackling the money of the PKK", said the Prime Minister.

If that's true, then Erdogan will find out shortly just how committed we are to retrieving our heavy materiel.

"We are expecting them to take steps in this direction".

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Approving a plan of sending arms to Kurdish rebels fighting ISIS, he aggravated the situation in the Middle East even more.

According to Soder, the decision is not altogether new.

The US-led Global Coalition has provided military support and advice to the SDF in its campaign against the extremist group. "We do not want any other forces to participate with us".

The announcement follows a decision by the Trump administration to supply the force with heavier weapons.

"If we are strategic allies we must take decisions as an alliance".

Trump has made his priorities clear. But Washington has pushed back, instead utilizing the group's partners in the fight against Daesh in northern Syria.

"This is combat. They didn't make a deal with us", he said. As a nod to Turkey's concerns, the Pentagon has promised tight monitoring of all weapons and greater intelligence sharing to help the Turks better watch over their frontiers.

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Turkey has carried out widespread purges of the civil service to get rid of Gulen supporters. "I want to believe that our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies stand shoulder to shoulder with us and not with the terrorist organizations", quoted Hurriyet Daily News.

Turkey's short-term response is likely to include increased pressure on YPG positions in Syria. In addition, five Peshmerga (armed forces of Iraqi Kurdistan) fighters lost their lives as unintended losses (Rudaw, April 25).

Turkey has been pressuring the U.S.to drop support for the Kurdish militants in Syria for years and doesn't want them spearheading the Raqqa effort.

Dr. Nasr Haji Mansour, a senior SDF adviser in Syria, disagrees. "It's aware it's not possible for them to play with such sensitive issues", he said.

"This mistake will be seen sooner or later and it will be corrected", he said.

Additionally, a video of United States military vehicles seen during a funeral ceremony organized for the people killed in the Turkish airstrikes brought irritation in Ankara (YouTube, April 30). Turkey along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar from the very beginning have been supporting the Sunni radicals, who eventually transformed into a powerful terrorist organization.

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