President Donald Trump approved a plan to directly arm Syrian Kurdish fighters in North Syria battling ISIS, according to reporting on May 9. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Turkish officials warned their American counterparts of such an attack on Wednesday, citing an unnamed Turkish official who told the newspaper, "Turkey's message to the Trump administration was that Turkey reserves the right to take military action".
Turkey views the YPG as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought an insurgency in southeast Turkey since 1984 and is considered a terrorist group by the United States, Turkey and Europe.
The U.S.is convinced that the Kurdish fighters, known as the YPG, are the most effective local force in trying to oust IS militants from their stronghold in Raqqa, Syria.
"We agree 100 percent with Turkey's concern about PKK, a named terrorist group", he told reporters en route to Washington.
A United States official also told the Reuters news agency that the USA was looking to boost intelligence cooperation with Turkey to support its fight against the PKK.
The Syrian Kurds have been encircling Raqqa, preparing for the launch of what the US military predicts will be a long and hard battle to retake the city.
Trump and his team will get a chance to chip away at Ankara's objections when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Washington next week. "We wouldn't even know where the shelling was coming from", the mother of five said.
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The Trump administration has not specified the kinds of arms to be provided.
The YPG said Washington's decision would bring swift results and help the militia "play a stronger, more influential and more decisive role in combating terrorism". It comes just as Turkey sent a high powered delegation to Washington to explain to the Americans Ankara's misgivings in detail.
The United States took this long to commit to arming SDF, despite its stated objective of destroying ISIS, because of concerns from the Turkish government.
His forces would receive "special weapons and armoured vehicles" to enter the city, Hassan said, after President Donald Trump changed USA policy to allow arms deliveries to the SDF's Kurdish component.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Wednesday, "You can not destroy a terrorist organization using another terrorist organization". The strikes were part of an ongoing counterterrorism operation targeting members of the YPG, some of who could potentially be teamed with USA military advisers. Mattis said he had no doubt the two countries could work through the tensions caused by the decision to arm the YPG. In a report published Thursday, the Turkish state-run Anadolu News Agency describes the PKK as an "umbrella organization" that "franchises" itself to regional affiliates, making worldwide support of their subgroups more palatable.
"We want to let the enemy worry about when our partner forces are going to start, but in the meantime the coalition will continue hammering the enemy anywhere that they can be found as preparatory fires and shaping efforts to help pave the way for the liberation of the city", he said. "They only have different names", said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
But Turkey worries that advances by the YPG in northern Syria could enflame the PKK insurgency on its soil and that the weapons supplied to this militia will fall into PKK hands, like it happened in the past.