Two U.S. defense officials tell NBC News that President Donald Trump has approved a plan to arm the Syrian Kurdish militia — an important U.S. ally in Syria in the fight against ISIS.
Trump and members of the Cabinet spoke about it during a meeting late yesterday at the White House with Secretary of Defense James Mattis joining by video teleconference.
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.
The Turks will be notified about the decision soon and the officials expect a strong reaction from them. In March, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to Turkey to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who sees the YPG as terrorists.
Last week, the White House said Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed by phone ways to resolve the Syria crisis — a five year old civil war which has left more than 500,000 civilians dead, displaced millions and drawn international outrage. That conversation included a “discussion of safe, or de-escalation, zones to achieve lasting peace for humanitarian and many other reasons.” Read more at NBC.