The United States government requests $845 million to train forces in Syria and Iraq to fight against the Islamic State (ISIS). $1.4 billion was budgeted in 2019 for the same task whereas $1.2 bn is set aside in 2020, reported news agency Euronews on Tuesday.
Turkey sees both the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and its political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as terrorist organisations which control most of northeast Syria as part of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has been fighting for self-rule inside Turkey for more than 30 years.
The YPG denies being part of the PKK, but both groups share the same democratic confederalist ideology and are part of the same umbrella organisation.
While the United States recognises the PKK as a terrorist organisation, U.S. troops have armed and trained YPG fighters who make up the bulk of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that has pushed ISIS out of most of northern Syria.
$645 million out of $845 is to be used to train Iraqi security forces for the same year. On the other hand, it has been confirmed that $200 million will be spent on the “Vetted Syrian Opposition (VSO),” which is supported by the US, includes the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The Pentagon budget received $300 million in 2020 for the same task.