Jim Mattis, US Secretary of Defense, said that the US will continue to provide weapons to Kurdish fighters in Syria even after the Islamic State has been ousted from its last main stronghold in Syria Raqqa.
|The US had earlier promised that it would take back weapons that it supplied to the YPG after Turkey expressed alarm over arming Kurds on its border. The YPG, Peoples' Protection Units, are regarded by Turkey as a terrorist group but the US regards them as a key ally in the fight against the Islamic State(IS) in Syria and has supported them with arms and training. The YPG are the main component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) supported by the US in Syria. The US said the weapons would be returned after the defeat of the Islamic State. The US is also to present Turkey with a monthly inventory of weapons that the US provides to the YPG. The Turkish defense ministry said that the first inventory had already been sent to Turkey.|