U.S. to end weapons support for Syrian Kurdish YPG, Turkey says

U.S. to end weapons support for Syrian Kurdish YPG, Turkey says
Sat Jan 27, 2018 13:34:56

The United States has told Turkey it will not provide any more weapons to the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, the Turkish presidency said on Saturday, as Turkey's offensive against the U.S.-backed YPG in Syria entered its eighth day.

(Reuters) -- The Turkish presidency said in a statement on Saturday that Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan, and U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster held a phone call on Friday in which McMaster confirmed the United States would no longer provide weapons to the YPG.

On Thursday, the Pentagon said it carefully tracked weapons provided to the YPG and would continue discussions with Turkey, after Ankara urged Washington to end its support for the YPG or risk confronting Turkish forces on the ground in Syria.

On Friday, Erdogan said Turkish forces would sweep Kurdish fighters from the Syrian border and could push all the way east to the frontier with Iraq - a move which risks a possible confrontation with U.S. forces allied to the Kurds.

Since the start of the incursion, dubbed "Operation Olive Branch" by Ankara, Erdogan has said Turkish forces would push east towards the town of Manbij, part of Kurdish-held territory some 100 km (60 miles) east of Afrin, where U.S. troops were deployed to deter Turkish and U.S.-backed rebels from clashing.

The Turkish presidency said Kalin and McMaster had agreed for Turkey and the United States to remain in close coordination to "avoid misunderstandings".

(Photo: Fighters from the self-defence forces of the Kurdish-led north hold their weapons during a rally in Hasaka, northeastern Syria, January 23, 2018. © Rodi Said / Reuters)

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