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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

    Mattis Confirms US Commitment to Halt Arms Deliveries to Syrian Kurds

    Middle East
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    The United States will cease weapons supplies to the Kurdish People's Protection Units as was promised earlier to the Turkish leadership, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said amid Ankara's demands to provide documented evidence of cuts.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Friday, Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yildiz told Sputnik that Washington was yet to prove it is cutting its arms supplies to Syrian Kurds with documented evidence as the statements from White House continued to differ on the issue.

    "Yeah. We are going to go exactly along the lines of what the president [Donald Trump] announced," US Defense Secretary James Mattis Mattis said on Friday, while answering the reporter’s question whether the United States would stop arming the Syrian Kurds.

    On November 24, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Trump had reassured his Turkish counterpart that he had ordered to cease supplies of US armaments to the Syrian Kurds. However, the Pentagon later said it was reviewing the need to provide support for YPG units (People's Protection Units).

    Relations between Washington and Ankara remain strained over a number of differences, particularly on the US military support for the YPG units, which are fighting the Islamic State (Daesh) terror group in Syria. Ankara has repeatedly expressed hope that the United States will stop supplying Syria's Kurds with weapons due to the fact that the issue of Daesh's defeat will soon be resolved.

    Ankara considers the YPG to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a designated terrorist organization in Turkey. The PKK has fought a protracted armed struggle against Turkey to achieve independence or autonomy. At the same time the YPG, as well as the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have been receiving support from the United States to fight terrorists in Syria.


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