Turkey slams USA decision to arm Syrian Kurds

Posted May 12, 2017

Turkey views the YPG as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist group by the United States, Turkey and Europe. He earlier said that after Tabqa is secured, the Syrian Kurdish-led forces will continue operations to "isolate and seize Raqqa".

The fighting has been raging in the town for weeks, with IS suicide bombers and snipers putting up fierce resistance.

SDF spokesman Talal Sello told AFP that his forces had "achieved victory and completely liberated (Tabqa) city and the dam". "Both leaders affirmed their support for peace and stability in both Iraq and Syria".

Tabqa and the nearby dam, Syria's largest, were seized a day earlier in an offensive that lasted almost seven weeks, with the backing of airstrikes from the worldwide coalition.

"We will work together, we'll work out any of the concerns".

Spokesman Redur Xelil said the move was "somewhat late", but would still "provide a strong impetus" to forces fighting IS.

A US official told Reuters that the United States was looking to boost intelligence cooperation with Turkey to support its fight against the PKK.

An alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters has announced it has taken a strategically important town from so-called Islamic State (IS).

"We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the U.S.is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally", she added. The weapons that will be supplied include ammunition, small arms, heavy machine guns and mortars, he added.

The spokesman for the USA -led coalition against IS, Col. John Dorrian, told reporters at the Pentagon Wednesday that the weapons would be delivered to the Kurds soon. -Turkish relations today. As excited as Erdogan may have been about the end of the Obama administration and the beginning of the time of Trump, the major points of contention remain what they were. A USA official told Reuters that the US was looking to boost intelligence cooperation with Turkey to support its fight against the PKK.

Otherwise, he warned, "the outcome won't only affect Turkey, a negative outcome will also emerge for the United States".

"We are keenly aware of the security concerns of our coalition partner Turkey", she said. Erdogan has demanded that Washington undo the arms decision, and said he would take up the issue with Trump. While the government expressed predictable anger, the deputy head of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Ozturk Yilmaz said it should go even further by postponing Erdogan's visit to the US.

A high-level Turkish delegation including Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and spy chief Hakan Fidan had been in the United States laying the groundwork for the meeting.

The green light was given just one week before Turkey's president will visit the White House.

Mattis stated Washington would not give weapons to the PKK.