US to Arm Kurds in Battle for Raqqa

تم نشره في Tue 9 May / May 2017. 12:00 AM
  • The SDF is pressing IS back in the key city of Tabqa - (Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump has approved supplying weapons to Kurdish forces fighting Daesh, aka ISIS, in Syria, the Pentagon says.

Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) would be equipped to help drive ISIS from its stronghold, Raqqa, a spokeswoman said.

The US was "keenly aware" of Turkey's concerns about such a move, she added.

Turkey views the Kurdish rebels as terrorists and wants to stop them taking more territory in Syria.

The SDF, which comprises Kurdish and Arab militias, is supported by elite US forces and air strikes from a US-led coalition.

The group is currently battling ISIS for control of the city of Tabqa, an ISIS command centre just 50km (30 miles) from Raqqa.

A Pentagon source told the BBC the equipment would include ammunition, small arms, machine guns, heavy machine guns, construction equipment such as bulldozers and armoured vehicles.

The source added that the US would "seek to recover" the equipment afterwards.