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    U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, center, and U.S. Army General John Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, second left, meet with Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security Director Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, right, and other members of the Afghan delegation at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan in Kabul, Afghanistan Monday, April 24, 2017

    Mattis, Turkish Counterpart to Discuss Arms Supplies to Kurds Next Week

    © AFP 2017/ Jonathan Ernst
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    US Secretary of Defense James Mattis will meet with his Turkish Counterpart Fikri Isik next week to discuss US arms supplies to the Kurdish fighters in Syria, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, said on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The general added that last Thursday, Mattis wrote a detailed letter to Isik providing a routine update on the situation.

    In this photo taken on Tuesday May 23, 2017, provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group, the Hammurabi's Justice News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a U.S.-backed anti-government Syrian fighter form Maghaweer al-Thawra stands on a vehicle with heavy automatic machine gun, left, next of an American soldier who also stands on his armored vehicle, right, as they take their position at the Syrian-Iraqi crossing border point of Tanf, south Syria
    © AP Photo/ Hammurabi's Justice News

    "Secretary Mattis next will once again meet with his Turkish counterpart in Europe and go through this," Dunford stated on Monday when discussing arms supplies to the Kurds within the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

    In recent weeks, the town of al-Tanf has turned into a strategically important point where the interests of the US-led coalition and pro-Damascus forces clashed.

    Currently, the Syrian Army and its allies are advancing to the east along the Damascus-Baghdad highway, a strategic route in southeast Syria. The highway is also a point of interest for the US-led coalition in the area of al-Tanf, where Syria borders with Iraq and Jordan. The US also has a military base in al-Tanf where opposition forces have been trained.

    While, previously the US relied on Syrian opposition forces, now Washington bets on certain militants groups and Kurdish units.

    On Wednesday, Turkish Presidential Press Secretary Ibrahim Kalin said that Ankara remains concerned over the activities of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), despite Washington's statement that the YPG would not use US-supplied weapons against Turkey.

    Tags:
    Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Fikri Isık, James Mattis, Turkey, Unity State
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