Activists say Kurdish-led forces advance on IS-held Raqqa

President Trump hosts Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington on Tuesday.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces advanced on Raqqa in a multi-pronged offensive, with backing from the US-led coalition, bringing them within four kilometres of the city to the north-east and within about six kilometres to the north.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by airstrikes from the USA -led coalition, are on a multi-pronged offensive, clashing with militants northeast and northwest of Raqqa. Turkey is also concerned about the possibility that the weapons could end up in the hands of the PKK. "The U.S. should not have intervened in Syria to begin with, but this is a natural outcome of that intervention".

However, the strategic partnership between them has been strained by conflicting priorities in the Syrian war. Syrian Free army and Kurdish forces will spearhead the assault on the city, but they are awaiting the supply of United States weapons, which the U.S. only authorised for the Kurds on Thursday, in a major policy change that infuriated the Turks. The YPG is the main component of the SDF.

U.S. officials this week announced a deal to directly supply arms to the People's Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia that Turkey has long argued is a terrorist organisation affiliated with its own homegrown Kurdish insurgent group, the Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK). He warned cryptically that Turkey, which has its own troops in Syria, has the authority to defend its interests in that country.

The weapons, which will be delivered to the YPG soon, include small arms, ammunition, machine guns, armored vehicles, and bulldozers. Analysts doubt that Trump and Erdogan can come to an agreement during their talks at the White House. Asked if Turkey would continue to bomb the YPG in Syria if the group is armed by the US, Yıldırım was succinct. It could also impose limits on the use of its Incirlik air base as a launchpad for the air campaign against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

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Turkey says the fighters are an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. We'll work out any of the concerns.

Erdogan and other top Turkish officials have pressed for the U.S.to reverse its strategy, however low the prospects of Trump changing his mind. Ankara is also enraged by USA plans to arm the Syrian Kurds, who they consider terrorists. Erdogan welcomed Trump's election victory last November and said he hoped it would lead to "beneficial steps" in the Middle East.

In such a game, why couldn't the US support the PYD against ISIS and simultaneously oppose Iran? Erdogan was speaking during a visit to China, ahead of his trip to Washington for his first meeting with Trump.

"The United States is still going through a transition period". Arslan is portrayed by pro-Erdogan media in Turkey as a high-ranking Gulen follower, something he denies.

Once the terrorists are defeated, the USA can turn to longer-term issues such as patching up relations with Erdogan, as well as reaching some sort of peace deal involving protected, autonomous zones for US-supported factions and, eventually, the end of President Bashar al-Assad's murderous reign.


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