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Turkey angry, stoic with US decision to arm Syrian Kurds

Will US-Turkish relations worsen in the wake of the Trump administration’s historic decision to directly arm Syrian Kurds?
Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) head a convoy of U.S military vehicles in the town of Darbasiya next to the Turkish border, Syria April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said - RTS14EFX

US President Donald Trump’s May 8 decision to directly arm the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) against the Islamic State did not surprise anyone. If anything, the United States stated what it had been doing for some time.

Since the United States began conducting airstrikes against IS in August 2014 and the US Congress passed legislation to train and equip Syrian Kurds in December 2014, the YPG and YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have fought against IS with great success. Thanks to US support, the SDF has reversed the territorial gains of the extremist Sunni group and, since spring 2016, has been marching toward IS’ capital, Raqqa.

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