14:53 GMT31 May 2020
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    The United States continues to support Syrian rebels amid reports of President Donald Trump’s administration scrapping plans to arm Kurdish fighters, US Department of Defense spokesman Eric Pahon told Sputnik on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration dropped plans by former President Barack Obama to arm Kurdish fighters in northern Syria in a push to recapture the city of Raqqa from Daesh.

    Pahon said that the Pentagon was aware of the media report and underscored continued US support to local partners in Syria.

    "[The Defense Department] continues to partner with and enable other vetted Syrian opposition forces to fight ISIL [Daesh]," he said. "We continue to stand by and support our partners on the ground."

    The spokesperson underscored that the US partner on the ground, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), "is the force most capable of isolating Raqqa in near term."

    The Operation Wrath of Euphrates, aimed at liberating the Syrian city of Raqqa from Daesh was launched by Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces on November 5, 2016. The SDF started the second stage of the operation on December 1.

    The Syrian Democratic Forces are a rebel group predominantly consisting of Kurdish fighters, as well as of Arabic and Turkmen forces, who are jointly fighting against the Daesh terrorist group. The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) are the main force of the SDF group. The SDF has long been supported by the US-led coalition.


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    Syrian Kurds, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Pentagon, Syria, United States
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