As of Tuesday May 9th, 2017, President Donald Trump has approved the plans for arming Syrian Kurds in order to aid in the fight against ISIS. Despite Turkey’s objections to such an idea, President Trump still went through with his approval of such plans, reported the New York Times.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey is scheduled to meet with President Trump in Washington in May, and the American and Turkish decision on arming the Kurds is to be the focal point of the scheduled meet, according to The New York Times.
The Syrian Kurdish militia is an important U.S. ally in the battle against ISIS, and will be a part of the fighting force that eventually heads into Raqqa, a city in the center of Syria, according to the Pentagon.
The U.S. has previously supplied light weapons and armoured vehicles to the Arab element of the SDF, also known as the Syrian Arab Coalition, according to BBC News.
Although the Kurds are overwhelmingly tough fighters, American officials have said that they will need anti-tank missiles, heavy machine guns, mortars and armored vehicles to take on Islamic State fighters in Raqqa, who are well equipped and have fortified their positions, reported NBC News.
Even with the extra weaponry, ABC News continues, the kurds and their Syrian partners are expected to face a difficult opposition to take and maintain control in Raqqa, which has been a necessary part in the extremists’ state-building plan.
Although the U.S. government has not provided a timeline for when the weaponry support will begin for the Syrian Kurds, Pentagon spokeswoman, Dana White stated “We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the US is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our Nato ally,” reported by NBC News.