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Trump approves arming Kurds to fight Islamic State

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 01:05

U.S. President Donald Trump approves supplying arms to Kurdish fighters, part of an effort to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State, despite fierce opposition from NATO ally Turkey. Ryan Brooks reports.

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President Trump brushing past fierce opposition from NATO ally Turkey on Thursday (May 10), approving the supply of arms to Kurdish forces in Syria, as they fight to take back control in the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. Washington says it'll supply weapons to Kurdish members of a wider U.S.-backed coalition, but Turkey sees those Kurds as terrorists. In fact, last month they carried out air strikes on them, killing around 30 fighters. Turkey hasn't publicly responded to Trump's decision yet but the Pentagon has stressed that arming the Kurdish forces is quote "necessary to ensure a clear victory" in Raqqa. The city is Islamic State's de facto capital in Syria and has become a hub for planning the group's attacks in the West. Turkish support has been critical to the in the battle against ISIS, but the significance of the battle for Raqqa seems to have pushed the U.S. to look beyond that. Something that will no doubt cast a shadow over Washington when Turkish President Erdogan visits next week.

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Trump approves arming Kurds to fight Islamic State

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 01:05