US will take back weapons from YPG after IS defeat: Turkey
ANKARA, Turkey (Kurdistan24) – Washington will take back weapons given to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) after the Islamic State’s (IS) defeat, sources from the Turkish defense ministry said on Thursday.
According to Ankara, the United States Defense Secretary Jim Mattis promised his Turkish counterpart Fikri Isik the weapons supplied to the YPG would be taken back.
Mattis also said the US would give Turkey a monthly log of weapons handed to the Kurdish forces, according to Reuters.
He told Isik in a letter that “a detailed record of all equipment provided to the YPG was being kept.”
The US Defense Secretary also reassured the Turkish Defense Minister that “Arab fighters would form 80 percent of the forces which will capture Raqqa.”
Turkey is concerned with the arming of Kurds in Syria on its border as it views the YPG an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The PKK has been waging a decades-long battle against the Turkish government for broader Kurdish rights.
Turkey claims weapons supplied to the YPG have ended up with the PKK in the past.
The US, on the other hand, supports the Kurdish forces battling IS and sees them as an important ally in the liberation of Raqqa, the insurgent group’s de facto capital in Syria.
Despite protests from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against the US’ decision to arm the YPG, President Donald Trump approved the move.
Erdogan had also declared Turkey would “retaliate” against the YPG if it felt “threatened by the group.”