Dec 01 2017

U.S. to send 5,000 more AK-47s to YPG in Syria

The United States has assigned a half-billion-dollar budget to fighting Islamic State (ISIS) in 2018 and will be providing Syrian Kurdish forces with 5,000 more AK-47 assault rifles, CNN Türk said.

The news channel said the decision “would cause another crisis” with Turkey. U.S. President Donald Trump, it said, had told Turkish leaders the United States would no longer arm the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish force that controls much of northeastern Syria.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told state news agency Anadolu last week that Trump had "clearly stated that weapons will not be given to YPG anymore and said that essentially this nonsense should have been ended before”.

The U.S. readout of the same call used less decisive terms:

“Consistent with our previous policy, President Trump also informed President Erdoğan of pending adjustments to the military support provided to our partners on the ground in Syria, now that the battle of Raqqa is complete and we are progressing into a stabilisation phase to ensure that ISIS cannot return.”