US provides armored SUVs to Syrian anti-IS forces

Fighters from the Kurdish Arab alliance known as the Syrian Democratic Forces advance towards the Islamic State group bastion in Raqa in December 2016

Pentagon spokesman Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway said in an-email that the delivery was provided as part of already existing authorities to enable the coalition.

"We are providing them with the tools to face whatever the current threat is". "This happened after the new United States administration came to power", said spokesperson Talal Sello, adding that President Donald Trump's administration had "promised extra support".

The offensive is being waged by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who say that under President Donald Trump they have seen signs of increased American support.

"Previously we didn't get support in this form, we would get light weapons and ammunition", Silo told Reuters.

Washington has refrained from following suit on the YPG but has insisted that it's training and materiel support for the SDF does not include the YPG.

Founded in October 2015, the US-backed SDF is comprised mostly of Syrian Kurds, numbering at least 25,000.

The Syrian Arab Coalition is the Arab component of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters.

Spokesman Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway did not provide additional details on the type or number of "up-armored vehicles". With these armored vehicles we've entered a new phase in the [US] support. Trump has said he wants to step up the fight against the IS group.

The US-led coalition has been backing the SDF as a key ally on the ground fighting ISIS in northern Syria, providing advice, air support, and some arms.

Ankara considers the YPG a terrorist group and the offshoot of the outlawed PKK, which itself is listed as a terror organization by the U.S., Turkey and the EU.

USA support for the SDF - which includes Kurdish, Turkmen and Arab elements - remains a source of contention between Washington and Ankara.

In October 2015, the USA conducted air drops of almost 50 tons of ammunition to the province of Hasakah in Syria.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Arab and Kurdish forces in northern Syria, says it has received armored vehicles from the U.S., indicating increased support from Washington under the administration of President Donald Trump.



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