US senior commander says US will not provide arms ‘as of now’ to YPG units
AFP photoA senior U.S. commander based in Baghdad, Iraq, for the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) said his country, as of now, was not providing arms to the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
“As of now, we are not providing weapons or ammunition to the YPG. The weapons that we’ve provided thus far, with the ammunition that we’ve provided in our one airdrop executed, was for the Syrian-Arab coalition,” Colonel Steve Warren, a Baghdad-based spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition against ISIL, told reporters via teleconference from Baghdad.
“As of now, future resupplies will also go to Arab-vetted Syrian opposition members,” he added, after a reporter said a senior defense official had recently said the YPG would not be getting any ammunition or weapons. “So, you know, as of now, that’s where our policy stands.”
Turkey regards Syrian Kurdish YPG units in the same category as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with which the state has been in an armed fight for over 30 years, with a death toll of over 40,000 from both the camps. The state had launched a peace process to solve the Kurdish problem in the country in the early 2010s, which was later halted by the state during the run to Turkey’s general elections on June 7.
Responding a question on whether or not the U.S. would talk to Turkey about the issue, Warren said they were in “very close contact” with Turkey.
“Obviously the Turks have concerns. You know, they’re our partners and allies. We’re going to address those concerns. We’re going to work with them to achieve our common goal, which is to defeat ISIL,” Warren said.