Turkish official: US arming Kurds 'unacceptable'

Once Raqqa is taken from ISIS, it the USA plan is to turn it over to the governance of local Syrian Arabs.

Turkey objected strongly to President Donald Trump's decision to arm Kurdish forces in Syria, calling the plan unacceptable and amounting to support for terrorists. Turkey wants the arms agreement reversed, and Yildirim on Wednesday said the USA can not use one terrorist group to fight another.

Turkey believes the US -backed Syrian Kurds, known as the YPG, are terrorists. But Ankara sees the YPG as a terrorist organization threatening Turkish sovereignty.

He said the weapons being delivered were small arms, mortars, heavy machine guns and shoulder-fired weapons to stop the Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDS), or auto bombs, that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has used to break up assaults.

During a visit to Montenegro on Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said there was no difference between the Syrian Kurdish fighters and the outlawed Kurdish rebels fighting Turkey. Yildirim on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, has spoken out against a US decision to arm Syrian Kurdish fighters which Turkey regard as terrorists, saying it can not use one terror organization to try and defeat another terror group. The PKK has waged an insurgency in southern Turkey since the 1980s.

"Weapons given to the YPG end up in the hands of the PKK".

She also said that Washington was "keenly aware of the security concerns of our coalition partner Turkey".

"Turkey doesn't have much room to move here", said Sinan Ulgen, a former Turkish diplomat and analyst at Carnegie Europe.

"If the opposite decision is made, the consequences will bring negative outcomes, not only for Turkey but also for America", Anadolu quoted him as saying.

The US differs, and has repeatedly tried to reassure Ankara. "We do not envision a long-term YPG presence", White said. Turkey wants the arms agreement reversed. The intent is to restrict the distribution and use of the weaponry by permitting its use for specific battlefield missions and then requiring the Kurds to return it to USA control, the officials said.

Speaking to reporters in Vilnius, Lithuania, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that the United States had "open discussions" with Turkey and that he was confident Ankara's concerns could be addressed. "I am not concerned at all about the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance and the relations between our nations".

"It's not always tidy, but we work out the issues", he added.

Trump will meet with Erdogan next week in Washington ahead of next month's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

Do you ever have any question about anything you wish to ask and get answer? Those strikes "created further frustration in Washington", which saw Turkey as slowing down the Raqqa operation, according to Tol of the Middle East Institute.

"[The] message to the Trump administration was that Turkey reserves the right to take military action", a senior Turkish official told The Washington Post.

To this end, US officials have assured their Turkish counterparts that Arab SDF fighters will lead the battle into Raqqa, and upon victory the city will be returned to local Arab governance. Syrian Kurds make up slightly more than half of the SDF, according to the USA military.

The Kurdish-Arab SDF has been the main faction fighting Daesh on the ground in Syria, but Turkey dismisses it as a front for the YPG. "Such a policy will benefit nobody", he said.

"You cannot be in the same sack with terror organizations".

The Turks will be notified about the decision on arming Syrian Kurdish forces soon and the Pentagon expects a strong reaction.

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