Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said the president made the decision on Monday and described the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, as “the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future.”
“We are keenly aware of the security concerns of our coalition partner Turkey,” White said in a statement. “We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the U.S. is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our NATO ally.”
Notes The Washington Post:
The decision is sure to enrage Turkey, the NATO ally that views the YPG as a threat and has rebuked the United States for partnering with the group in its fight against extremists in Syria...Turkey has charged that the political wing of the YPG has moved in behind the SDF forces who have taken territory from the Islamic State across northern Syria and forced out Arab and Turkmen populations. Their goal, Erdogan has said, is to create a Kurdish canton that can join with Turkish Kurds of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, separatists who have been at war with the Turkish government—and which both the United States and Turkey have designated as a terrorist organization.What a mess. This is a four-dimensional foreign entanglement.