U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said Tuesday that America will continue to provide weapons to Syrian Kurdish fighters after the battle to oust Islamic State militants from Raqqa, Syria, is over.
Describing American reassurances to Turkey that the U.S. will take back weapons given to the Syrian Kurds after the IS fight, Mattis said it depends on when or where the next mission is. And he also sounded a cautionary tone when asked if all the weapons would be returned. “We’ll do what we can,” he told reporters traveling with him to Germany.
Mattis’ comments marked the first time he has spoken at length publicly about the U.S. pledge to recover the weapons provided to the Kurds.
Turkish officials late last week said Mattis had reassured them by letter that arms given to the Syrian Kurds would be taken back and that the U.S. would provide Turkey with a regular list of arms give to the fighters.