U.S. military denies it cut off arms to the Kurds

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The U.S. military is denying earlier reports that the Trump administration ordered it to cut off supplying arms to Kurds in Iraq following the defeat of ISIS, at the request of Turkey.

There have been no changes to previous White House policy of arming the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesperson for Operation Inherent Resolve, told American media on Monday.

Kurdish activists have posted videos on social media of recent convoys sending fresh supplies, including U.S. Humvees, to Kurdish fighters.

Dillon would not confirm those videos, however, saying he wouldn’t discuss how often or when supplies are sent.

“We don’t arm them every single day,” he said.

Following a phone call between President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ankara released a printout of the alleged conversation, claiming that Trump told the Turkish leader the U.S. would stop arming the YPG, as Turkey has long sought.

In June Defense Secretary James Mattis told his Turkish counterpart the U.S. would collect the weapons it supplied the Kurds after ISIS was defeated. But Dillon said that process had not yet been established. He also said there “is still quite a bit of work” to do in the region, since ISIS still controls territory east of the Euphrates River. [source]

Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 2:  What is the current situation report and risk of war in each of the four flashpoints?

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