Putin: Russia sees no need to arm the Kurds in Syria

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Kurdish female fighters of the YPJ joining the fight against ISIS north Raqqa. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Moscow sees no need to arm Kurdish fighters in Syria.

“Unlike other countries we are not announcing any arms deliveries to Kurdish formations,” he said.

“We don’t believe we need to start such work,” the Russian President added, speaking in Beijing.

This comes days after the US President Donald Trump agreed to arm Kurdish YPG units as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), that are in fight against ISIS extremists in the group’s de facto capital of Raqqa.

However, Putin stressed that Russia will continue to work with Kurdish forces in the fight against terrorism in northern Syria.

Putin said the fact that the Kurds were engaged in the fight against ISIS militants meant it made sense to maintain working contacts with them however “even if it’s only to avoid (accidental) clashes.”

Last week the Trump administration announced it will arm Syria’s Kurdish fighters “as necessary” to recapture the key ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.

The US sees the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, as its most effective battlefield partner against ISIS in northern and eastern Syria.

Dana W. White, the Pentagon’s chief spokeswoman, has described the Syrian Kurds as “the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future.”

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