No US involvement in deal with IS fighters: Pentagon

It is the first face-to-face meeting between senior US and Turkish officials since President Trump gave the Pentagon the green light to directly provide arms and heavy weapons to Kurdish militias battling the Islamic State in Syria.

Mattis' remarks to reporters traveling with him followed an approximately 30-minute meeting in London with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, the highest-profile face-to-face conversation between USA and Turkish officials since the announcement.

Turkey slammed the U.S. decision to arm the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara considers terrorists but which Washington sees as an indispensable ally in the fight against IS.

"I hope very much that this mistake will be reversed immediately", Erdogan said, after Washington announced it would arm the Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) in the fight against militants in Syria.

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. "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".

But U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he was confident the United States would be able to resolve the tensions. "Any departure from what's been agreed will affect how we operate with partner forces going forward", Dorrian said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is acting with unprecedented caution and patience simply to give his meeting with President Trump on May 16 a chance of salvaging the situation and make the White House understand the Turkish position and reverse the trend.

"If a negative decision is taken, its consequences will not only be against Turkey but have a negative impact on the US, too", Yıldırım said.




Yildirim said "there is still an opportunity for the United States to take Turkey's sensitivities into consideration".

The Levant Liberation Committee, which often fights alongside of rebels against Syrian pro-government forces, says the so-called "de-escalation" agreement signed between Russia, Turkey, and Iran earlier this month is a "betrayal" of Syria's 2011 uprising.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Wednesday, "You can not destroy a terrorist organization using another terrorist organization".

His forces would receive "special weapons and armoured vehicles" to enter the city, Hassan said, after President Donald Trump changed U.S. policy to allow arms deliveries to the SDF's Kurdish component.

"From our side, we want to keep good neighborly relations with Turkey", Redur Khalil said in a series of messages from Syria.

"The U.S. made that decision because its priority for now is to defeat IS both in Mosul and Raqqa", he said. It comes just as Turkey sent a high powered delegation to Washington to explain to the Americans Ankara's misgivings in detail. Mattis said he had no doubt the two countries could work through the tensions caused by the decision to arm the YPG.

"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. "We can not accept the presence of terrorist organizations that would threaten the future of the Turkish state". President Erdogan has every incentive to play up the controversy.

The YPG is the armed faction of the Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK, which Turkey has labeled a terrorist organization.

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