In March, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey.
"The United States condemns the Assad regimes use of brutal violence and human rights abuses and calls on the Assad regime to stop its violence against the Syrian people, uphold the Cessation of Hostilities, enable the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and allow a political transition in Syria that will forge a credible path to a future of greater freedom, democracy, opportunity, and justice", said the US President. Both Washington and Ankara consider the PKK a terrorist group, but the US military has long said the YPG represent the best fighters on the ground in Syria against ISIS.
Currently, the SDF troops are locked in a pitched battle with the Islamic State around the Syrian town of Tabqa on the Euphrates River. A full list wasn't immediately available, but officials had indicated in recent days that 120mm mortars, machines guns, ammunition and light armored vehicles were possibilities.
Kurdish forces are on the move to take back Raqqa, the city ISIS declared its capital.
It is a move that has always been under consideration at the Pentagon but has been delayed due to strong opposition from American NATO ally Turkey.
President Donald Trump has signed off on a plan to arm Kurdish forces, according to NBC.
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"The SDF, partnered with enabling support from USA and coalition forces, are the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future", said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White in a statement Tuesday. "We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the United States is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally", White said.
Their goal, Erdogan has said, is to create a Kurdish canton that can join with Turkish Kurds of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, separatists who have been at war with the Turkish government - and which both the United States and Turkey have designated as a terrorist organization. Last month in Washington, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlet Cavusoglu told CBS News that USA support for that group crosses a red line.
The Pentagon said that it would continue prioritizing the arming of Arab forces in Syria, but acknowledged Ankara's concerns in the statement announcing the decision.
Turkey has long considered the YPG an extension of the PKK, a Kurdish insurgent group which has waged a decades-long insurgency in Turkey killing tens of thousands of civilians. The strikes were part of an ongoing counterterrorism operation targeting members of the YPG.
The SDF, which comprises Kurdish and Arab militias, is supported by elite USA forces and air strikes from a US-led coalition.
"We can't destroy one terrorist group with another one". They said the USA would not provide artillery or surface-to-air missiles.