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U.S. starts delivering arms to Kurdish fighters in Syria

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters keep watch during the battle with Islamic State militants on the outskirts of Mosul January 21, 2015. Kurdish forces in northern Iraq said on Wednesday they had cleared Islamic State insurgents from nearly 500 square kilometres of territory and broken a key IS supply line between the city of Mosul and strongholds to the west near Syria. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY POLITICS)

Washington: Despite opposition from Turkey, the United States has started delivering military equipment to the Kurdish fighters within the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), including small arms and vehicles, as part of an effort to take the Islamic State-controlled city of Raqqa.

“I can confirm the US-led coalition has begun issuing arms and equipment to Kurdish elements of the SDF. These initial deliveries consist of small arms and vehicles.” US Department of Defense spokesperson Adrian Rankine-Galloway told Sputnik on Tuesday.

The spokesperson noted that the US advisers will monitor the use of the weapons “wherever possible” to ensure they are used only against the ISIS terror group.

American NATO ally Turkey sees the Kurdish fighters in the SDF as closely linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party ( PKK), an internationally designated terror group that has carried out attacks against Turkey. However, the U.S. views the two Kurdish groups as distinct organizations. (ANI)