Turkey says US arming of Syrian Kurdish militia 'extremely dangerous'

Early this month, U.S. President Donald Trump approved a plan to arm Syrian Kurds.

The office added that the clashes between their fighters and Turkey-backed Ahrar al-Sham continued until the midnight on Wednesday.

The US says it has started arming Kurdish militia fighting ISIL in Syria.

"The SDF, partnered with enabling support from US and coalition forces, [is] the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White told NBC News Tuesday, referring to the Syrian city that is the capital of ISIS' self-proclaimed caliphate.

Ankara is concerned that the weapons could be used by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) to continue its three-decade-long insurgency against the government in Turkey. Some US officials fear that Iran would be further empowered by an Iranian corridor through Iraqi territory to Syria, as well as strengthening Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"|We have begun to transfer small arms and vehicles to the Kurdish elements" of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Pentagon spokesman Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway said, referring to a Kurdish-Syrian Arab alliance fighting ISIS.


"The YPG is an arm of the PKK".

Last Friday, the US -backed SDF, which contains numerous elements linked to the terrorist PKK/PYD group, called on Daesh militants in Raqqa to surrender by the end of the current month.

A USA government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was an "issue we're watching closely and we're keenly aware of the evolving events in the ground and their potential ramifications".

Washington has sought to placate Ankara by saying the weapons will be handed out judiciously, and that it will monitor these to make sure they don't go into Turkey.

The SDF is closing in on Raqqa, he said, pointing out that in the northern Raqqa valley, the SDF has cleared to within four kilometers of Raqqa.

Kurdish groups working with the SDF have already achieved success in reclaiming the nearby town of Tabqa, a strategic victory that includes control of a major dam and leaves them well-positioned for the Raqqa offensive.


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