Pentagon says it will arm Syrian Kurds, despite Turkey's objections

Australia continues commitment to counter Daesh

President Trump made the decision Monday to ensure a "clear victory" over ISIS in Raqqa, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White said in a statement announcing the move.

Ankara views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which is considered a terrorist group by both Turkey and the United States.

Later, Mr. Cevik attempted to walk back his comments on social media regarding US forces working with Kurdish militias.

There has been wide support from senior USA military officials to provide direct arms to Syrian Kurdish forces, but sensitivities about Turkish opposition has delayed such a decision.

The Obama administration had been leaning toward arming the Syrian Kurds but struggled with how that could be done without torpedoing relations with Turkey, which is a USA ally in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and a key political actor in the greater Middle East.

A senior USA official says the Trump administration has approved providing heavier weapons to the People's Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian affiliate of the PKK, as they move closer to the key Daesh stronghold of Raqqa.

The U.S. military has debated for months how best to proceed as forces prepare to retake Raqqa, ISIS' de facto capital in Syria. They could be delivered by ground convoys, C-130 transport aircraft and air drops, NBC reported, citing unnamed USA defense officials. The partnership can hurt US ties with Turkey, who views the YPG as a threat.

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Turkish war planes carried out strikes on YPG forces in Syria on April 27 and also hit Kurdish forces in neighbouring Iraq in what Ankara described as "terrorist havens".

In her statement, White said the US prioritizes its support for the Arab elements of the SDF. "We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the United States is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally", White said.

"We are keenly aware of the security concerns of our coalition partner Turkey". Basat Ozturk, a senior Turkish defense official, participated.

Trump is scheduled to meet his Turkish counterpart, President Recep Erdogan, at the White House next week. Adrian Rankine-Galloway replied, "We encourage all forces to remain focused on the Defeat-ISIS fight and concentrate their efforts on ISIS".

Turkey was informed of Mr. Trump's decision, according to an American official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was discussing private diplomatic communications...

"We were troubled by that", Air Force Col. John Dorrian, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said of Turkey's failure to give adequate warning of airstrikes in the Hasaka area.

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