BEIRUT – A top Syrian Kurdish official says the U.S. decision to arm Kurdish fighters with heavier weapons will help legitimize the force, which is denounced as a terrorist organization by Turkey.
The Trump administration announced Tuesday it will arm the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces "as necessary" to recapture the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. NATO ally Turkey strongly objects to the alliance because it sees the Kurds as an extension of the insurgency raging in its southeast.
Ilham Ahmed, a top official in the Syrian Democratic Forces' political office, tells The Associated Press Wednesday the decision means the SDF is the force designated to recapture Raqqa.
She said the decision is likely to be met with "aggression" from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is to visit Washington next week.