US defense chief affirms commitment to protecting Turkey

8 2016 by Hawar news the news agency for the semi-autonomous Kurdish areas in Syria, shows Kurdish-led Syria Democratic Forces raising their flag after driving Islamic State militants out of the area

8 2016 by Hawar news the news agency for the semi-autonomous Kurdish areas in Syria, shows Kurdish-led Syria Democratic Forces raising their flag after driving Islamic State militants out of the area

The Obama administration holdovers in the US government rushed President Donald Trump to directly arm terrorist PKK's Syrian affiliate People's Protection Units (YPG), ahead of Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan's planned visit next week, fearing that Erdoğan could personally convince Trump otherwise, multiple Turkish officials told Daily Sabah. A top Syrian Kurdish official said Wednesday, May 10, 2017, that the USA decision to arm Kurdish fighters with heavier weapons will help legitimize the force, which is denounced as a terrorist organization by Turkey.

Canikli expressed hope that Washington would reverse its decision, saying "there is no truth to the claim that the fight against Daesh can only succeed with the (Syrian Kurdish forces)".

SDF spokesman Talal Silo said they were able to capture Tabqa "thanks to the sacrifices of the SDF's heroes and with the full, unlimited support of the USA -led global coalition", Reuters reported.

The alliance between Washington and the Syrian Kurds started in 2014 at the battle for Kobane, a symbolic city in northern Syria, near the Turkish border, which was besieged by Islamic State.

US President Donald Trump has approved supplying arms to the YPG to support their fight against Islamic State in Syria. They pushed into the town almost two weeks ago, capturing most of its districts and encircling Islamic State in the dam.

On Wednesday, the Democratic Forces said fighters captured the country's largest dam from the Islamic State militants.

The recapture of Tabqa leaves no other major ISIL-held urban settlements on the eastern road to Raqqa.

USA special operations forces are embedded with the Kurdish-led fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces as they prepare for battle around Raqqa.

Venezuela opposition seeks international support for 'democratic agenda'
As the national guard was throwing tear gas and pellets onto protesters, a violinist played through the violence. Militiamen approached, all dressed in dark colours with pieces of cloth covering their faces.

Next week, Erdogan will be able to press the point in person, when he meets Trump at the White House.

But Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the two were one and the same. A first consignment of weapons is already in place for delivery and could be dispatched to the YPG "very quickly", U.S. Colonel John Dorrian said May 10. The intent is to restrict the distribution and use of the weaponry by permitting its use for specific battlefield missions and then requiring the Kurds to return it to US control, the officials said.

A spokesman for the coalition, Col. The Kurdish elements will receive small arms, ammunition, heavy machine guns and weapons capable of taking out "heavily-armored vehicle-borne IEDs (improvised explosive devices)", Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told The Daily Caller News Foundation, but will not be provided with anti-aircraft weaponry. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss the matter, said artillery or surface-to-air missiles would not be provided.

"The secretary reiterated USA commitment to our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally", stated the readout, provided by Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White.

"We will work together".

Mattis acknowledged Turkey's concerns that weapons could end up in the hands of the Kurdish militants in Turkey, known as the PKK.

He added that the London conference will review that work and take measures for further peace and development.

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