US denies sending arms to Syrian Kurdish fighters
WASHINGTON – Anadolu Agency
A file picture taken on Nov. 8 shows a Kurdish Peshmerga fighter picking-up a mortar shell during fighting against ISIL in Kobane. AFP PhotoThe U.S. State Department has denied supplying U.S. arms to Kurdish forces defending the besieged town of Kobane, insisting that any supplies are from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq.
“The United States is not providing U.S. arms to the PYD [the Democratic Union Party],” a department official told the Anadolu Agency on Dec. 9.
Turkey views the party as a branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and has condemned arming the People’s Defense Units (YPG) and the Women’s Defense Units (YPJ), the armed wings of the PYD.
Washington, however, has carried out air drops to reinforce the group as it seeks to defend the key Syrian border town from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) advances.
“It became clear in October that the anti-ISIL forces defending Kobane were running dangerously low on supplies necessary to continue the fight against ISIL there on the ground. That is why President [Barack] Obama decided to resupply Kobane’s defenders by air with supplies provided by Kurdistan Regional Government authorities in Iraq,” the official said, distinguishing U.S. arms from those supplied by the Kurdish government in northern Iraq.
The official added that the U.S. continues to label the PKK as a foreign terrorist organization.