USA may have dispersed equipment to Syrian Kurds 'very quickly'

Turkey yesterday slammed as unacceptable a USA plan to arm Syrian Kurdish fighters whom Ankara considers terrorists, but the militia applauded a "historic" move that would hasten the extremists' defeat.

Meanwhile, during an interview with NTV, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said that US decision to supply weapons to Syrian Kurdish militants will "neither benefit the USA nor the region".

Despite fierce objections from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey, the United States this week approved supplying arms to the powerful Kurdish YPG militia, a key component of the SDF and their campaign.

For months, Erdogan has been trying to convince the U.S.to cut off its support for the Kurds and partner instead with Turkey-backed fighters to liberate the Islamic State group stronghold of Raqqa.

Turkey's deputy prime minister Nurettin Canikli denounced the decision as "unacceptable" and said it "amounts to support to a terror organisation".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called on the country's allies to "side with Ankara and not with terrorist organisations".

But Washington's reassurances failed to assuage Ankara, which regards the YPG as the Syrian arm of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a deadly insurgency inside Turkey since 1984.

Erdogan vowed to bring up the issue in talks with US President Donald Trump on May 16 in Washington, their first face-to-face encounter as heads of state.

The defense secretary, speaking to reporters aboard a US military airplane after the meeting in London, characterized the discussions as "honest, transparent and helpful".


A US-led anti-Daesh coalition spokesman told reporters in Washington that the weapons would be "pointed at ISIS [Daesh]".

"We, as Syrians, are upset with this abrupt policy shift by the USA", he said, "as we continue to dream about a return to our homeland".

"No. Sorry", Corker said, adding that Washington is going to "have a little bit of a rub with Turkey for a period of time".

TURKEY'S DEPUTY PREMIER NURETTIN CANIKLI, referring to the United States plan to arm Kurdish forces fighting ISIS in Syria.

"I have no doubt that Turkey and the United States will work this out with due considerations, significant attention paid to Turkey's security", he said.

The Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) has been seen by Washington as the best ally against jihadists in Syria. In a brief readout of the approximately 30-minute meeting held ahead of the start of a Somalia conference, a Pentagon statement said the two men discussed a range of bilateral security issues. "Our intent is to work with the Turks, alongside one another to take Raqa down", he said.

The full liberation comes after a battle that started March 22 with the USA airdropping local ground forces behind enemy lines - a first in the Syrian conflict.

A Turkish air raid in late April killed 20 YPG fighters and media officials, prompting the USA to deploy armoured vehicles along the border in a show of support for the group.

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