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    A fighter from the Kurdish People Protection Unit (YPG) poses for a photo at sunset in the Syrian town of Ain Issi, some 50 kilometres north of Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State (IS) group during clashes between IS group jihadists and YPG fighters on July 10, 2015

    Will US Weapons Provided to Syrian YPG Militia Help Liberate Raqqa?

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    US' weapons supplies to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia will contribute to the liberation of Raqqa from terrorists as the Kurds are the only force on the ground capable of it, Hisyar Ozsoy, the deputy chair of the Turkish opposition pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in charge of foreign affairs, told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, following the US Defense Department's announcement that President Donald Trump approved a plan to arm YPG, the Syrian Kurdish PYD party's affiliate, fighting Daesh terrorists in Syria, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis ensured his Turkish counterpart Fikri Isik over phone of the US commitment to prevent security risks for Turkey.

    "It was an expected decision because the Kurds are the only kind of local force on the ground that can fight ISIS [Daesh] in Raqqa … We support the US decision and consider that providing arms to Kurds in Syria will help to liberate Raqqa and the peace settlement in Syria," Ozsoy said.

    Ozsoy expressed HDP stance that Turkey should change this perception of Syrian Kurds as threat for the national security which was the reason of disagreement with the US decision on providing arms to YPG.

    "Turkey, unfortunately, perceives the Kurds wherever they are as a national security threat and that is why it will object the American decision to supply the Kurds with arms … Turkey needs to face the reality as it is the reality that the Kurds are there and defending their own country from the ISIS. We can only hope and expect that Turkey will change its position," Ozsoy added.

    Ozsoy stressed that official Ankara’s position toward the Syrian Kurds was counterproductive and a shift in attitude would allow Turkey to see them as potential allies and partners.

    Ankara strongly opposes any plan that would see Kurdish fighters taking over Raqqa, as they believe that the PYD, prominent in Rojava, are affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is designated as a terrorist group in Turkey.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit the United States to hold a meeting with Trump on May, 16. The two leaders will discuss the particulars of the situation in Syria, Iraq and the larger fight against terrorism.

    The SDF launched the Wrath of Euphrates operation in November 2016 and are now in the start of the fourth stage of the campaign, aimed at the liberation of the rural areas of Raqqa province from terrorists.


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    arms supplies, Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Turkey, Syria, United States
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