US says it will wind down military support for ‘certain groups’ fighting ISIS
The US will be capping military support it provides to rebel groups fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria and Iraq as the coalition gains ground on ISIS, the White House said Monday, following a call between the Turkish and US leaders last week. “Now that we're continuing to crush the physical caliphate, that we're in a position to stop providing military equipment to certain groups,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told a briefing. She stressed, however, that Washington doesn’t intend to cut the support to the groups entirely, as of now. Sanders was responding to a question about a call between President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, during which Erdogan asked Trump to discontinue weapon deliveries for Kurdish-dominated rebel groups fighting ISIS. The US began supplying weapons to one of its main allies in Syria, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) earlier this year. The People’s Protection Units (YPG), a major SDF component, have been outlawed in Turkey as terrorist organizations.