US Tries to Calm Turkey Down in the Wake of its Decision to Arm the Kurds

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May 10th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

– Al Mayadeen – – translated by Samer Hussein –

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said he is confident the United States will eventually be able to resolve tensions with Turkey over Washington’s decision to arm the Kurdish fighters in Syria in, saying “We will successfully deal with any Turkish concerns.”

“We will work closely with Turkey in order to guarantee safety of its southern border. It is also the southern border of Europe with which we will continue to maintain close contact”, Mattis was heard saying during a visit to the NATO training area in Pabrade in Lithuania.

American decision to arm the Kurdish YPG units under pretext of protecting civilian population caused a lot of discomfort in Turkey, as evident from the recent statement from the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu who said that every weapon obtained by Kurdish fighter units is a “threat” to Turkey.

The Turkish Foreign Minister also reminded the US is aware of the Turkish position towards these issues, adding they will be further discussed when Turkish President Erdogan heads off to Washington next week to meet with the US counterpart, President Donald Trump.

In turn, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces confirmed the American decision of arming the Kurdish fighters, saying it will help to boost the elimination of terrorists in Syria, adding that new batches of US weapons will soon arrive, while describing the US decision as “historic, although a bit late.”

The official spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, colonel Talal Slaw, said the recent US decision to arm Kurdish fighters in Syria, a key component of the SDF, is an important decision which will greatly help to deal with the problem of terrorism, adding that Trump administration has been increasingly helping them ever since assuming office in January.

A YPG spokesman, commander Redor Khalil, praised the White House’s decision to arm the Kurdish and other SDF units, saying their cooperation will soon bring “significant results in fight against terrorism.”

It is noteworthy that Washington did not specify exactly what kind of weapons will be provided, however, colonel Slaw said the US administration has already made the list which includes tanks, anti-tank missiles and armored vehicles.

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