Mattis: Syria Fight Will Only Get More Complicated After Raqqa Is Captured

Adjust Comment Print

Those were after Turkish warplanes attacked YPG and Iraqi Peshmerga positions in northern Syrian and Iraq, killing several US partnered forces.

A BARBER in Lincoln has defended his decision to name his shop after Kurdish forces fighting in Syria following a mixed reaction on social media. Mattis claimed that the USA had made it clear all along "we're going to equip them for the fight". Though the U.S. has claimed they "welcome" Syrian offensives against ISIS, they've continued to attack them every time they get close.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Mattis said the recovery of weapons and equipment supplied to the Kurdish militia is dependent on several factors, including the success against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh. Ankara views it as Syrian branch of the PKK, which has been designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and EU.

However, at this time, there have been no signs that YPG commanders or fighters plan to re-deploy from Raqqa to northern Syria as a result of the increasing hostilities between Ankara and the Kurds, according to a spokesperson at U.S. Central Command.

It depends, he said, on the battle and what weapons the Kurdish fighters need.


Last month, fierce clashes broke out between Turkish-backed Syrian rebels and Kurdish fighters in Aleppo province.

Mattis is scheduled to meet his Turkish counterpart, Defense Minister Fikri Işık, in Brussels on Wednesday, where both have arrived to attend a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit. The US has not publicly revealed the amount or even specific types of weapons provided for the Kurds. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss the matter, said artillery or surface-to-air missiles would not be provided. The shipments began in May and the Pentagon said only that small arms and ammunition were included.

Mattis also said that as the fight against IS grows more complex and moves into the Euphrates River Valley, it will require more deconfliction with the Russians.

However, the U.S. president not only continued with existing United States policy on Syria but also announced the arming of the YPG days before Erdogan travelled to the White House in May.

"It'll be based on where does the river bend here and which side of the river is the town on there, this sort of thing".

Comments