Trump told Erdogan he will stop arming Syrian Kurds: Turkish FM

By Rudaw 1 hour ago  – 24 Nov 2017 – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The US president told his Turkish counterpart that his country will stop arming Kurds in Syria, Turkey’s foreign minister stated after the two leaders spoke on the phone.  “Mr. Trump gave clear instructions and said the YPG will not be provided with weapons from now,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters Friday afternoon, Hurriyet Daily News reported. “He also clearly said that in principle, this nonsense should have ended earlier,” Cavusoglu added.
Donald Trump spoke with Recep Tayyip Erdogan by phone to discuss “bringing peace to the mess that I inherited in the Middle East,” he tweeted before the call.

The White House has not immediately issued a statement. Erdogan’s office is expected to release a statement on their conversation later today. The United States has been arming the Kurdish force YPG in the war against ISIS in northern Syria. The YPG are the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the allied ground force of the US-led global coalition.
Trump “authorized the Department of Defense to equip Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces as necessary to ensure a clear victory over ISIS in Raqqa, Syria,” Pentagon spokesperson Dana White announced in May, saying the SDF was the only ground force that was capable of taking the city. “We are keenly aware of the security concerns of our coalition partner Turkey,” White said, reassuring Ankara that the US “is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our NATO ally.”

Ankara considers the YPG to be an extension of the PKK, a named terrorist organization. The YPG denies the charge. The US-led coalition has made several shipments of arms and military equipment to the SDF and YPG for the war against ISIS in Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.  At a NATO meeting earlier in November, Turkey’s Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said he provided evidence to US Defense Secretary James Mattis that American weapons were being used against Turkish forces and demanded the US stop shipping weapons to the YPG.
Turkey has also objected to the inclusion of Kurdish representatives at peace talks.
Defending themselves on Twitter, the YPG said their fight against ISIS has saved not only Kurds and Syrians, but also people of the Middle East and Europe. They ask why they should not receive help.