The decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to supply arms to Syria's Kurdish YPG militia in their battle against Islamic State has unsettled NATO ally Turkey, who regard the fighters as terrorists, a week before Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets Trump in Washington. Matthew Larotonda reports.
President Donald Trump's to decision arm Kurdish fighters in Syria has further exacerbated the United States' sensitive alliance with Turkey. It's foreign minister weighing in on Wednesday (May 10), stating the move posed a direct threat to Turkey's own security. And just a week before Trump's Turkish counterpart, Tayyip Erdogan, is scheduled to meet him face-to-face in Washington. Syrian rebels including the Kurdish fighters, known as the YPG militia, have long enjoyed support dating to the Obama administration in the form of air power and embeds from U.S. special forces battling Islamic State. The Kurds - a key piece in American efforts against the jihadists, including against their Syrian de facto capital, Raqqa. But the direct supply of weapons to them is new, and prods the complicated web of allies. Erdogan says the YPG are tied to seperatists inside Turkey regarded by both Ankara and Washington as terrorists. And Turkish troops deployed into Syria have repeatedly clashed with the Kurds. This video said to show the aftermath of a Turkish air strike against them. U.S. marines seen here, deployed to the monitor Turkey's border after more fighting between them last month. Turkey has pressed both Trump and Obama to drop support for the Kurds, and focus on Arab rebels instead, as Raqqa is predominantly an Arab city.