Nov 25 2017

State Department learn from Turkey that U.S. would no longer arm Kurds

The U.S. State Department and National Security Council were taken off guard by Trump’s commitment to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that the United States would stop arming the People’s Protection Units in Syria, according to the Washington Post.

“Initially, the administration’s national security team appeared surprised by the Turks’ announcement and uncertain what to say about it,” the paper said.

“The State Department referred questions to the White House, and hours passed with no confirmation from the National Security Council.”

The news, revealed first by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, later appeared to be confirmed by the White House.

“President Trump also informed President Erdogan 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 stabilization phase to ensure that ISIS cannot return,” the White House statement said.

In June, U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis had told reporters that the United States would "do what we can" to recover weapons from the YPG after Raqqa had been taken.