World Bulletin / News Desk
The U.S. is to deliver armored vehicles to a contingent of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Pentagon said Tuesday.
Spokesman Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway did not provide additional details on the type or number of “up-armored vehicles”.
“These vehicles will help them contend with ISIL’s IED threat as they move toward Raqqa,” he said in a statement released to Anadolu Agency. Raqqa is ISIL's main outpost in Syria.
U.S. support for the SDF -- which includes Kurdish, Turkmen and Arab elements -- remains a source of contention between Washington and Ankara.
The SDF is primarily composed of elements of the YPG group, which Turkey sees as the Syrian offshoot of the PKK -- a group designated by both the U.S. and Turkey as a terrorist organization.
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.
Rankine-Galloway stressed that the vehicle deliveries were not sent to the YPG.
“There has been no change to current policy. The Department of Defense only provides training and materiel support to the Syrian Arab Coalition,” he said, referring to the Arab component of the SDF.