31 May '17, 1am

US starts giving arms to Syrian Kurds ahead of Raqqa assault

WASHINGTON — The United States started Tuesday to deliver weapons to Kurdish fighters closing in on the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa, Syria, the Pentagon said. Spokesman Eric Pahon said Tuesday's weapons delivery to the Syrian Kurds included small arms and ammunition. It marks the beginning of a campaign to better equip Kurdish allies that the U.S.-led coalition believes are the best fighting force against the Islamic State, even though arming them has infuriated NATO ally Turkey. Turkey considers the Kurdish fighters to be terrorists. The U.S. has promised to mete out the equipment incrementally, based on the mission, to ensure weapons aren't used by Kurdish groups in Turkey. On Tuesday, Kurdish-led fighters in Syria closed within about 2 miles (three kilometers) of Raqqa, where they expect to face a long and deadly battle. Roadside bombs and other explosive devices ...

Full article: http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/us-starts-giving-ar...

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