United States to end weapons support for Syrian Kurdish YPG, Turkey says

Ankara, The United States has pledged to stop supplying weapons to Kurdish militia in Syria, Turkey says, calling on Washington to immediately remove its troops from a Syrian town of Manbij that Turkish forces plan to target next.

US National Security Adviser HR McMaster told Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, that the United States would no longer provide weapons to the Kurdish YPG militia, the Turkish presidency said.

Turkey’s air and ground offensive in northwest Syria’s Afrin region against the Kurdish YPG militia has opened a new front in the seven-year, multi-sided Syrian civil war and strained ties with NATO ally Washington.

Ankara views the YPG as terrorists and as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and has been infuriated by US support, including arms and training, for the militia.

Kurdish fighters have played a prominent role in US-led efforts to combat the hard-line Islamic State in Syria.

When Turkey launched their attack on the city of Afrin last week, Kurdish forces called on their US ally for help, while NATO ally Turkey warned against US involvement.

“The US and international community have a moral obligation to stand behind the Kurdish people now,” YPG forces said in a statement as the offensive began.

Just prior to the launch of the eight-day-old incursion, dubbed “Operation Olive Branch” by Ankara, Mr Erdogan criticised the US for arming the Kurds, saying, “this is not what allies do”.

Mr Erdogan said he hoped the US “would not give rise to error by appearing on the same side as the terror organisation”.

Source- ABC News

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