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US plans to divest heavy weapons from PKK/PYD in Syria

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The Pentagon said Tuesday it intends to recoup large vehicles and heavy weapons from the PKK/PYD in Syria since the Daesh terror group has essentially been eliminated there. reports citing AA.

"It is our intent to regain large vehicles and heavy or crew-served weapons once specific threats have been defeated," Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said in a written statement.

“Make no mistake: a lot of fighting is still necessary to defeat the remaining pockets of ISIS [Daesh], and substantial work remains to ensure ISIS's lasting defeat in the region, particularly as the group reshapes itself into more of an insurgency,” he added.

The PYD and its military wing YPG are Syrian branches of the PKK terrorist network which has waged war against Turkey for more than 30 years and taken thousands of lives.

Manning's statement came a day after a press briefing at the Pentagon when he was asked whether the heavy weapons, which were given to the PKK/PYD in order to fight against Daesh, would be taken back.

Manning also claimed that U.S. advisors would monitor the use of the weapons and supplies, ensuring they are only used against Daesh.

"In addition, our partner forces agree to obey the Law of Armed Conflict and abide by the Geneva Convention as a precondition of our support," he added.

The Geneva II Conference on Syria was a UN-backed international peace conference on the future of Syria with the aim of ending the Syrian Civil War by bringing together the Syrian government and the opposition to discuss clear steps towards a transitional government.

Thirty-six members of the Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee will attend peace talks in Geneva this week.

In response to a question about whether arming the PKK/PYD is to support Geneva talks as Defense Secretary James Mattis recently said, the Pentagon said the Coalition would continue to support its PKK/PYD partners as they provide security that enables stabilization assistance to liberated areas.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization in Turkey, the U.S. and the EU. In its over three-decade terror campaign against Turkey, more than 40,000 people have been killed.

Since the group resumed its armed campaign in July 2015, more than 1,200 people, including security force personnel and civilians, have lost their lives.

2017.11.29 / 09:12
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