Syrian Kurds will not be required to return United States weapons for now

Syrian Kurds will not be required to return United States weapons for now

Syrian Kurds will not be required to return United States weapons for now

Washington has tried to placate Ankara by promising that all weapons provided to the YPG would be taken back once Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) was defeated.

A member of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fires a machine gun in the Syrian city of Raqa's eastern al-Sinaa district, on June 21, 2017, during an offensive by US-backed fighters to retake the Islamic State (IS) group bastion.

There are no verified reports of casualties suffered by either side during these past three days of cross-border exchanges.

The YPG had said that it was responding to aggression after Turkish forces and their Syrian allies have "increased their attacks against Rojava", targeting Afrin canton on a near daily basis over the past week and also flying over Kobane.

The YPG is leading the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the war on ISIS. The U.S. also considers the PKK a terrorist organization, and has vowed it would never provide weapons to that group.

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The statement from Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus came just a day after the Turkish military fired artillery at the YPG positions south of the town of Azaz in what it said was a response to the YPG's targeting of Turkey-backed FSA (Free Syrian Army) that are fighting Daesh along Syria's northern border region.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey would not flinch from taking tougher action against the YPG in Syria if Turkey believed it needed to.

In southern Syria, along the border of Iraq and Jordan, Iranian-backed militants loyal to the regime of Bashar al-Assad have repeatedly tested the deconfliction zones surrounding the Tanf Garrison, which houses anti-ISIS Syrian fighters and their USA and British advisors, each time eliciting a swift and brutal response from the coalition.

Analysis of PYD-linked social media accounts has shown them in possession of multiple rocket launcher pads, 80- and 120-millimeter mortars, MK19 grenade launchers, M4 Carbine and M16 infantry rifles, Humvee armored vehicles, Cougar armored personnel carriers and FGM-148 anti-tank missiles, all made in the U.S. Commenting on Ankara's claims Tuesday, Mattis said, "we'll do what we can". The Turkish defense ministry said that the first inventory had already been sent to Turkey.

This has been a recurring problem throughout the Syria war, with conflicts quickly getting shifted into different conflicts as territory changes hands.

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