Tactical Necessity Drives US Decision to Back Kurds in Northern Syria - DoS

© REUTERS / Rodi SaidUS military commander (R) walks with a commander (C) from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) as they inspect the damage at YPG headquarters after it was hit by Turkish airstrikes in Mount Karachok near Malikiya, Syria April 25, 2017.
US military commander (R) walks with a commander (C) from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) as they inspect the damage at YPG headquarters after it was hit by Turkish airstrikes in Mount Karachok near Malikiya, Syria April 25, 2017. - Sputnik International
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According to the deputy assistant secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, the US decision to arm Kurds for the offensive to retake Raqqa is purely tactical.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters gesture while posing on a damaged airplane inside Tabqa military airport after taking control of it from Islamic State fighters, west of Raqqa city, Syria April 9, 2017 - Sputnik International
Washington Chose Kurds for Raqqa Op Since They 'Cost Less Than Turkish Soldiers'
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US decision to arm Kurdish fighters for the offensive to retake the city of Raqqa is purely tactical, since they are the only group within the Syrian Democratic Forces that are in position and capable of defeating Daesh, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Jonathan Cohen stated on Wednesday.

"Our relationship is temporary, transitional and tactical," Cohen told guests at the Middle East Institute think tank. "They are the only force in that part of Syria… that is capable of moving in the near term to seize and liberate Raqqa."

Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish fighters, known by the acronym YPG, as terrorists on par with Daesh, because of YPG ties with the Kurdistan’s Workers party (PKK) terrorist group that is fighting to carve out a Kurdish state from Turkey.

Turkish opposition to the recent US decision to arm the YPG was a major point of contention in Tuesday’s White House summit between President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Cohen emphasized that the US commitment to Turkey as an ally and the commitment to Turkey’s national security remains strong and deep, despite a tactical disagreement over the use of Kurdish forces to liberate Raqqa.

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