31 May '17, 12am

The move has potential to further enflame tensions between the United States and Turkey.

The move has potential to further enflame tensions between the United States and Turkey.

WASHINGTON – The United States began providing weapons to Syrian Kurdish fighters for the first time Tuesday, a Pentagon official said, equipping the group to participate in the impending assault on the Islamic State’s capital of Raqqa despite objections from American ally Turkey. The United States started distributing rifles, ammunition and vehicles to the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit, known as the YPG, about three weeks after President Donald Trump approved arming the group, said Eric Pahon, a spokesman for the Defense Department. The YPG make up about half of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the U.S.-backed militia force charged with destroying ISIS in Syria. The move has potential to further enflame tensions between the United States and Turkey, who considers YPG a terrorist organization closely associated with the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK. The United...

Full article: https://www.stripes.com/us-begins-arming-syrian-kurdish-f...

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