Pentagon Authorized to Arm Syrian Kurds for ISIS Fight

President Trump on Monday authorized the Pentagon to arm Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces as they approach the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, the Defense Department announced Tuesday. The Kurdish fighters are already receiving support from US forces and “are the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a Tuesday statement. The decision raises tensions with Turkey, who considers Syrian Kurds allied with Kurdish fighters inside its borders that it views as a terror group. “We are keenly aware of the security concerns of our coalition partner Turkey,” White said. “We want to reassure the people and the government of Turkey that the US is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our NATO ally.” Turkey recently conducted airstrikes on Kurdish fighter-held regions inside Syria, prompting international scrutiny.