US President Donald Trump has approved a plan to arm Syrian Kurds, a key force in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

“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,” Xinhua quoted Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White as saying.

The US-led coalition against the IS is backing Kurdish forces as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which comprises of mostly the People’s Protection Units (YPG) Kurds along with Arabs and Assyrians, have already got on with siege of Raqqa.

“The SDF, partnered with enabling support from US and coalition forces, are the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future,” she added.

The approval for the plan came despite strong objections of the Turkish government, which views the Kurdish fighters as terrorists.

First Published | 10 May 2017 1:04 PM
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