The move, long supported by U.S. commanders, comes in the face of opposition from NATO ally Turkey.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced Tuesday at a press briefing that the United States will begin arming Kurdish forces in Syria in an effort to intensify pressure on the Islamic State.
“Yesterday, the president authorized the Department of Defense to equip Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces as necessary to ensure a clear victory over ISIS in Raqqa, Syria,” Spicer said.
The White House expressed the belief that only the SDF, with air support from coalition forces, holds the capacity to knock ISIS out in Syria.
Spicer acknowledged Turkey’s concerns and said the United States reaffirmed its commitment to the NATO member’s security.
The Obama administration had settled on the same policy late in its term, but ran out of time to “pull the trigger” on support, according to The Chicago Tribune.
Turkey has been opposed to support for the Syrian Kurds due to their lingering domestic struggles with an ethnic Kurdish minority. In some instances, Turkey has even taken military action against the Kurds in Syria.
9.18.17 10:59 amFox News Highlights Media Bias In A CBS Report About Richard Cordray
“CBS Sunday Morning” didn’t disclose that four of the lawyers that it interviewed had ties to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
9.18.17 10:41 amAmericans Overwhelmingly Reject Internet Sales Tax Proposal
Two of three Americans said they oppose a sales tax in their state on items purchased online.
9.14.17 2:07 pmNew NRSC Ad Hits Claire McCaskill for Saying ‘Normal People’ Can Afford a Private Plane
It’s the latest gaffe for the vulnerable senator from Missouri.
8.24.17 3:00 pmIs Tim Cook Running For President?
The Apple CEO held presidential campaign style events in the pivotal states of Iowa and Ohio on Thursday.