Trump approves plan to arm SDF
The US President Donald Trump has approved a plan to arm the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces as the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future.
The US President Donald Trump has approved a plan to arm the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
The Pentagon said the move is significant because it supports the notion that the Syrian Democratic Force is the fighting force that will eventually go in to Raqqa under ISIS occupation since 2014.
"The Syrian Democratic Forces, partnered with enabling support from U.S. and coalition forces, are the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future," Chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said in a statement.
Trump and members of his Cabinet spoke about it during a meeting late yesterday at the White House with Secretary of Defense James Mattis joining by video teleconference.
The order has been signed and that "allows the process to begin to function," one official told NBC News. Once the order comes to the Pentagon, the U.S. can begin providing the Syrian Kurds with arms and equipment fairly quickly since some equipment is pre-positioned.
The officials could not say what might flow in first or how it would get there, but among the expected options are:
- Breaching equipment — bulldozers, engineering equipment
More effective infantry equipment: rifles, ammunition, armor and communication gear (radios)
The officials said the equipment could be delivered by any number of methods: Ground convoys, C-130s, and air drops are all possible, depending on what the equipment is and the area. What's unclear is whether the U.S. may provide bigger equipment.
NBC News stated that the Turks will be notified about the decision on arming Syrian Kurdish forces soon and the Pentagon expects a strong reaction.