Defense secretary tries to calm Turks after arming anti-IS Syrian Kurds

Map locating Tabqa in Syria captured from the IS group by a US-backed alliance on Wednesday. AFP

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Turkish officials warned their American counterparts of such an attack on Wednesday, citing an unnamed Turkish official who told the newspaper, "Turkey's message to the Trump administration was that Turkey reserves the right to take military action".

On Thursday, the U.S. Central Command announced U.S. -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish and Arab force, recaptured the strategic Tabqa Dam and its neighboring city, which is located roughly 30 miles west of the ISISI stronghold of Raqqa.

A Pentagon spokesperson says both leaders affirmed their support for peace and stability in Iraq and Syria.

Washington's decision to arm the YPG, the SDF's main faction battling ISIL, reignited a dispute with Turkey, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calling for an "immediate" reversal. And American officials have stressed that the USA will try to ensure that the arms supplied to Kurdish fighters aren't smuggled out for separatist attacks on Turkish interests.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also said to reporters that the USA failure to consider Turkey's sensitivities "will surely have consequences".

"Among the information we have received, there is some that satisfy us and others that are not sufficient", he said. "It is conducting an active insurgency in Turkey, it has orchestrated the killing of innocent Turkish civilians and Turkish soldiers, and we support Turkey in its fight against PKK as a fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, just like all the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries stand with Turkey against the PKK", Mattis said. "Every weapon seized by them is a threat to Turkey".

Prime Minister Yildirim on Wednesday said the United States decision will "have consequences and will yield a negative result for the USA as well". "A negative outcome will also emerge for the United States".

The Syrian Democratic Forces scored one of their biggest victories against IS militants as controversy intensified over a USA decision to arm the alliance's Kurdish component.

Turkey views the YPG forces as the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought a bloody insurgency in southeast Turkey since 1984 and is listed a terrorist group by the U.S., Turkey and Europe.

Mattis said Washington would not give weapons to the PKK. Like Turkey, the USA considers that group a terrorist organization.

The announcement on Friday followed US President Donald Trump's decision on Monday to approve direct arms shipments to the SDF's Kurdish elements - the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) - to "ensure a clear victory" over ISIL. "Our wish is that the USA stops this wrong and does what is mandated by our friendship".

A first consignment of US weapons is already in place for delivery and could be dispatched to the Kurds "very quickly", US Colonel John Dorrian said Wednesday. United States officials have indicated that 120 mm mortars, machine guns, ammunition and light armored vehicles were possibilities.

The Syrian Kurds have been encircling Raqqa, preparing for the launch of what the USA military predicts will be a long and hard battle to retake the city.

"In past years we have shown that we have made increases, so I see no need for further provisions on May 25", the chancellor said.

"At the start of entering (Raqqa), of course, as (the USA -led coalition) promised us, there will be support in the form of specialized weapons, armoured vehicles or others", he said.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top AMBER Alert issued for missing Hampton infant and mother possibly abducted
May 13, 2017 - 00:34
Keir's mother says the two went to Buckroe Beach and were supposed to meet up with friends but never showed up that night. Hampton Police Division partnered with Virginia State Police in issuing an AMBER Alert for 8-month-old Chloe Johnson.

Windows 10 Build 16193 is now available with new features and improvements
May 12, 2017 - 01:01
Timeline: Windows 10 will keep a running tally of all the apps you use and sites you visit, in the order of when you visited them. That price is far more affordable than what Microsoft has been charging for another mixed reality headset called the HoloLens.

Sadness Reigns on Teesside as Middlesbrough Relegation to the Championship Is Confirmed
May 12, 2017 - 00:50
Pulis added: "There are a lot of clubs interested in Charlie Taylor , we're not the only club interested in him". The former Juventus and Italy coach told Chelsea TV: "We must be excited to live this type of situation".

When the Russian foreign minister jokes about former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Comey's firing
May 12, 2017 - 00:50
During the campaign, Trump repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and called for improving relations with Moscow. However, President Trump was instead seated beside former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Consistent Chelsea deserve top position, says West Brom's Pulis
May 12, 2017 - 00:43
The Blues travel to the Hawthorns this Friday knowing that another three points will guarantee them as champions for the 2016/17 season.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top UN Secretary General Calls to Avoid Humanitarian Tragedy in Somalia
May 12, 2017 - 00:12
Britain is hosting a high-level conference to address the deepening humanitarian crisis and security situation in Somalia. World Health Organization added that if the current drought situation continues, " famine could soon be a reality".

Harvey suspended, Stanton hits 2 HRs, Marlins beat Mets 7-0
May 10, 2017 - 03:27
Harvey is 2-2 with a 5.14 ERA this season in six starts since returning from July surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. In his first big-league game since 2015, the lefty was hit hard, giving up six runs and eight hits in 32/3 innings.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Kiwis' Bromwich and Proctor banned from World Cup
May 09, 2017 - 07:45
Bromwich will be sidelined for two NRL matches, donate his test fee to charity and undergo counseling. While both players were named in court, neither has been charged with an offence.

Arsenal end Manchester United unbeaten run
May 09, 2017 - 07:45
To have that record of winning so many matches (against him) and not losing is something that is not normal. This is a phase where we have to win every game, which we know.

Buffett talks highly of IITians, says he is eyeing the Indian opportunity
May 08, 2017 - 15:55
For most of his career, Buffett avoided technology stocks, saying the companies were outside his expertise. Hundreds of shareholders lined up early outside downtown Omaha's CenturyLink Center for the meeting.

'I blew it': Warren Buffett laments missing out on Google
May 08, 2017 - 15:41
He criticized the company's incentive system which led to the creation of fake accounts, which he said encouraged "bad behavior". Buffett echoed Munger's comments: "I had plenty of opportunities to ask [Google] questions but I blew it ".

US Senate passes bill to fund government through September
May 08, 2017 - 15:41
McCaskill's choice makes practical and political sense, said Marvin Overby, a University of Missouri political science professor. The revamped healthcare legislation took a hit on Tuesday when Upton said he would not support the measure.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Labour faces 'historic' task to win power, Corbyn admits
May 08, 2017 - 15:39
The favorable results for the Conservatives echoed May's call to the public to give her party the majority ahead of Brexit talks. May's campaign has identified a number of pro-remain seats that could be lost to protest votes.

Wizards' Oubre suspended for Game 4 for knocking over Olynyk
May 08, 2017 - 15:38
Oubre said Friday that he retaliated against Olynyk because he had been "hit in the head multiple times" by the Celtics center. Thursday's game featured eight technical fouls and three ejections.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top At meat market, the far-right Le Pen backs "eating French"
May 07, 2017 - 13:11
Macron and Le Pen represent two different visions of the future of France , its identity and role in Europe and the world. In Ireland, Ms Le Pen secured 3.98% of votes cast here, while Mr Macron secured 44.87%.