US Delivers Only Up-Armored Vehicles to Syrian Arab Coalition - Pentagon
18:23 31.01.2017(updated 21:11 31.01.2017)
The United States has supplied the Syrian Arab Coalition with up-armored vehicles to aid in the offensive to liberate Raqqa, US Department of Defense spokesperson Adrian Rankine-Galloway told Sputnik on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The Syrian Democratic Forces are a rebel group predominantly consisting of Kurdish fighters, as well as of Arabic and Turkmen forces, who are jointly fighting against the Daesh terrorist group. The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) are the main force of the SDF group. The SDF has long been supported by a United States-led coalition.
"Up-armored vehicles have been delivered to the Syrian Arab Coalition as part of our existing authorities to enable them. Specifically, these vehicles will help them contend with ISIL's [Daesh's] IED [improvised explosive device] threat as they move toward Raqqa."
At the same time, the spokesperson underscored that there have been no changes to current US policy on assistance to Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which include the Syrian Arab Coalition.
"The Department of Defense only provides training and materiel support to the Syrian Arab Coalition," Rankine-Galloway said.
Since early-November, SDF forces have been involved in a coalition-led operation to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de-facto capital of the Daesh self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria and Iraq.
The operation was criticized by Turkey as Ankara sees the SDF as an enemy because of the fact that Kurds make up the backbone of the group. Turkey considers the YPG to be an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), labelled as a terrorist group and outlawed in the country.
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