Trump pledges no more weapon delivery to Syrian Kurdish YPG

Trump pledges no more weapon delivery to Syrian Kurdish YPG

Trump pledges no more weapon delivery to Syrian Kurdish YPG

Cavusoglu said he was present in Erdogan's office during the telephone call.

"Our discomfort regarding the provision of weapons to the YPG was conveyed to Mr. Trump once again", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference Friday.

The YPG is closely affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the PKK, which has carried out terrorist attacks against Turkey, prompting concerns from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally that weapons supplied to the YPG could wind up in the hands of the PKK.

There was no immediate reaction from the United States.

The Associated Press reports that the announcement appeared to catch the U.S. State Department and Pentagon off-guard. But instead, the not only sticking with the Kurdish YPG in Syria; they're going to directly arm them - small arms, reportedly, but definitely not what Turkey was hoping to hear.

Pointing to the recent high-level visits to Greece from Turkey, Cavusoglu said Erdogan's visit would complement the previous meetings. "Trump very clearly said he had given instructions to not provide weapons to the YPG".

Although likely to upset the Kurds, it was unclear how much significance such a change would have on the ground.

USA -backed Kurdish and Arab militias seized the city in October.

As recently as May, the Trump administration was refusing to stop arming the Kurds.

Last week, Col. Ryan Dillon, the chief spokesman for the USA coalition that is fighting IS in Iraq and Syria, said there has yet to be any reduction in the number of US advisers working with the SDF.

As the fight against IS has waned in recent months, the US has pledged to carefully monitor the weapons it provides the Kurds, notably ensuring that they don't wind up in the hands of Kurdish insurgents in Turkey known as the PKK.

"Both leaders - who spoke about the importance of strengthening Turkey and US relations - agreed to fight against all kinds of terrorist groups, including the likes of Daesh, PKK and FETO", it said.

In August 2016, Turkey launched a direct military intervention into Syria on behalf of remaining rebel groups as both the Russian Federation and Iran-backed Syrian military and USA -backed Syrian Kurds made sweeping gains against ISIS, which had taken about half the country by 2014. -Turkish relations for several years, given Turkey's concerns about the Kurds' territorial aspirations.

Relations between the USA and Turkey have been strained since the administration of former president Barack Obama over Washington's support for the YPG and the failure to extradite Pennsylvania-based Fethullah Gulen blamed for ordering last year's coup bid.

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