Syrian Kurdish forces to push on IS capital this summer

Syrian Kurdish forces to push on IS capital this summer

And whatever the commitments allegedly made by the U.S. to Turkey that the Kurds would withdraw following a victory in Raqqa it is also not clear that this will be reflected by reality on the ground. Ankara is also enraged by US plans to arm the Syrian Kurds, who they consider terrorists.

Turkey views the YPG as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought an insurgency in southeast Turkey since 1984 and is considered a terrorist group by the United States, Turkey and Europe. Thus, the SDF was created.

For President Donald Trump, "taking Raqqa at the earliest possible opportunity" is part of his campaign promise to defeat ISIS quickly.

In Thursday's talks with Trump's Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Yildirim said he had been assured the U.S. Treasury would start tracking the financial flows of the PKK. Actually, we did. We just didn't want the world to know we were doing it.

Approving a plan of sending arms to Kurdish rebels fighting ISIS, he aggravated the situation in the Middle East even more.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters warm themselves by a fire on the bank of the Euphrates river, west of Raqqa city, Syria April 8, 2017. One of the most painful issues is Ankara's reluctance to truly fight ISIS. Other reports said Trump could give Erdogan free rein for Turkish attacks against the PKK in Iraq. The U.S. decision to provide heavier weapons among its supplies to the Kurds could therefore be significant in tipping the balance in their favor.

"As a volunteer that has spent years supporting the YPG, I'm astonished this sort of help didn't come sooner".

Inside the Pentagon, arming the YPG is seen as a calculated gamble.

Such a confrontation between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners clearly shows how the six-year war in Syria has turned over strategic alliances. The area of northeastern Syria where the YPG operates directly borders Turkey.

A Kurdish YPG fighter with her weapon near the al-Hawl area, the site of fighting between ISIS militants and Syrian Democratic Forces.

"This is combat. They didn't make a deal with us", he said.

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No, "Turkey has concluded it is better to be on the in than the out", Stein added.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to meet with President Trump on Tuesday just ahead of the US President's first foreign tour overseas when he will visit Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican. "If the alliance is to be overshadowed we'll have to sort things out for ourselves", Erdogan told reporters on Sunday, according to the pro-government Sabah newspaper.

"We believe they are serious about trying to mend relations with Turkey". Turkey backed off its confrontation with Russian Federation because of severe economic pressure from Putin, and Erdogan announced at Sochi that relations have been entirely restored.

Turkey's short-term response is likely to include increased pressure on YPG positions in Syria.

Arming the Kurds is a good first step.

"They can solve their problems in their country", Abdelqader said of Turkey.

Dr. Nasr Haji Mansour, a senior SDF adviser in Syria, disagrees.

Erdogan stressed in statements before heading to Beijing to participate in "One Belt, One Road" forum, which was held on Sunday, that he was discussing with Trump the USA relations with Kurdish People Protection Units (YPG) in Syria.

Consider Operation Nomad, which since 2011 has provided Turkey with intelligence gathered by US drones and beamed into joint fusion centers operating out of Ankara and Incirlik.

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