Nov 28 2017

U.S. reviews halt to arming Syrian Kurds - Pentagon

The U.S. Department of Defense has not halted sending weapons to Kurdish fighters in the Syrian Democratic Forces, but is reviewing the process, the U.S. newspaper The Hill said.

In a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States would stop weapons supplies to Kurdish fighters in Syria, The Hill said.

It quoted Department of Defense spokesman Colonel Robert Manning as saying the Pentagon was “reviewing pending adjustments to the military support provided to our Kurdish partners” in view of revised military requirements following the defeat of Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.

The U.S. military began providing weapons to the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces in May, after Trump signed off a plan to capture the ISIS capital of Raqqa, The Hill said.

Now the capture of Raqqa was complete, that support was now under review, the White House said in a statement:

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.

Turkey views Kurdish forces in Syria as terrorists linked to Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) separatists fighting the Turkish state.