White House confirms plan to arm Syrian Kurds in fight against ISIS on Tuesday; White House notifies Turkish Defense Ministry, assures that arms will only be used for missions combatting ISIS
United States President Donald Trump approved a plan to arm Syrian Kurd forces in the fight against the Islamic State.
The plan would provide arms and equipment to the Kurdish forces, as well as factions of the Syrian Democratic Forces in the fight to take Raqqa from ISIS. The president approved the plan on Tuesday, the White House confirming that “the president authorized the Department of Defense to equip Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces as necessary to ensure a clear victory over ISIS in Raqqa, Syria.”
Spokesperson for the White House, Dana White, stated that the “Syrian Democratic Force partnered with enabling support from U.S. and coalition forces, are the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future.”
She noted that the White House is aware of “the security concerns of our coalition partner Turkey,” but that the United States wants to “reassure the people and government of Turkey that the U.S. is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our NATO ally.”
So far the Turkish government has not responded to Trump’s approved plan. The Pentagon confirmed it has directly notified Turkey’s Defense Miniser Fikri Isik of the plan on Tuesday.
The White House also confirmed that the arms provided will only be used for approved missions related to fighting ISIS in order to address Turkish concerns that weapons provided could be used against Turkey in the future.