The Donald Trump administration plans to ask Kurdish fighters in Syria to return US weapons loaned for the fight against the Islamic State (IS), but the administration is not ending all support despite growing pressure from NATO ally Turkey.
The message from White House and Pentagon officials on Monday appeared to walk back assertions from Turkey's top diplomat that Trump had promised to cease support to Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Turkey considers the group's Kurdish faction, the People's Protection Units (YPG), to be a terrorist group.
"Once we started winning the campaign against [IS], the plan and part of the process is to always wind down support for certain groups," White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a briefing on Monday. "Now that we're continuing to crush the physical caliphate ... we're in a position to stop providing military equipment to certain groups. But that doesn't mean stopping all support of those individual groups."
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