Erdogan, Trump vow to fight against 'all' terror groups

  • Erdogan, Trump vow to fight against 'all' terror groups

Erdogan, Trump vow to fight against 'all' terror groups

President Trump told his Turkish counterpart Friday that the USA would no longer supply weapons to Syrian Kurdish fighters, a Turkish official said.

Erdogan's office says the Turkish leader has discussed the Syrian crisis and other regional issues with U.S. President Donald Trump.

The White House says the decision comes as the Syria conflict moves into a "stabilization phase" of ensuring the Islamic State group can't return.

The Turks view the militia, known as the YPG, as terrorists while the USA has treated the fighters as an ally force in the fight against the Islamic State.

Turkey considers the YPG to be an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey's southeast and is designated a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union as well as Turkey.

Cavusoglu added that Trump "repeated by the end of the conversation before they hung up that he ordered generals and national security adviser (Lt. Gen. H.R.) McMaster not to give arms". Turkey became an early supporter of efforts to overthrow Assad and helped sponsor the creation of the anti-government Free Syrian Army. This was the No. 1 demand Turkey was making of the Trump administration.

The Pentagon said at the time that the Kurdish fighters were "the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future".

"President Erdogan kept saying, you know, we couldn't get through to Obama's people, but now we expect better from Trump".

Relations between the US and Turkey soured in May when the Pentagon began sending AK-47s and small-caliber machine guns to the Kurdish force battling ISIS in northern Syria.

In August 2016, Turkey launched a direct military intervention into Syria on behalf of remaining rebel groups as both the Russian Federation and Iran-backed Syrian military and US -backed Syrian Kurds made sweeping gains against ISIS, which had taken about half the country by 2014.