Syria

Syrian Kurdish fighters receive arms shipment, Pentagon says

The United States has begun providing weapons to "Kurdish elements within the Syrian Defense Forces," the Pentagon confirmed on Wednesday.

"Weapons have arrived," Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway told Fox News.

The weapons include: small arms, vehicles, ammunition and "other weapons capable of defending threats to our partner forces" -- meaning providing countermeasures against improvised explosive devices.

The U.S. started Tuesday to deliver the weapons to fighters closing in on the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria. The Kurdish-led fighters closed within about 2 miles of the ISIS home base, where they expect to face a long and deadly battle. Roadside bombs and other explosive devices are believed to be planted along their routes and inside the city.

Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said Tuesday's weapons delivery to the Syrian Kurds marked the beginning of a campaign to better equip Kurdish allies that the U.S.-led coalition believes are the best fighting force against ISIS, even though arming them has infuriated NATO ally Turkey.

Turkey considers the Kurdish fighters to be terrorists. The U.S. has promised to mete out the equipment incrementally, based on the mission, to insure weapons aren't used by Kurdish groups in Turkey.

Fox News' Jennifer Griffin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.