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News Coverage
May 10, 2017

Raqqa and the Conundrum of Arming the Kurds

Henry Jackson Society

This article originally appeared in National Review.

Trump’s decision to back the SDF comes with potentially great rewards. He will have to mitigate its risks if he wants it to pay off.

Preparing to retake Raqqa, the ISIS capital, the U.S. announced yesterday that it would provide heavy weapons to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are dominated by members of the Kurdish YPG militia.

In making this decision, President Trump has upset President Erdogan of Turkey. Attempting to dissuade Trump from arming them, in recent weeks, Erdogan has launched aggressive strikes on YPG forces proximate to embedded U.S. forces. And now that Erdogan’s gamble has failed, he may respond with further escalation.

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