US sends $400 million in aid to Syrian Kurdish forces

<p style="text-align: left;">The United States has transferred $400 million worth of aid to Syria to be used by the Syrian Kurdish forces, Turkey&amp;rsquo;s state-run Anadolu agency reported on Saturday, citing unnamed local sources.

The aid package includes COVID-19 testing kits as well as military equipment in the form of bomb detectors, fingerprint scanners and tracking devices, and started to reach the Kurdish People&rsquo;s Protection Units (YPG)last month, Anadolu said.

Turkey considers YPG to be a terrorist organization, due to alleged ties with the Kurdistan Worker&rsquo;s Party (PKK), an armed group that has fought for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since the 1980s. YPG, acting as the armed forces of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), was a key element in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) under the U.S.-led international coalition.

Aid delivery will continue until year&rsquo;s end, Anadolu said.

Anadolu cited a U.S. State Department statement that said none of the funding was addressed to security forces.

The aid consists of humanitarian assistance in its entirety, and will be distributed to Syrians by &ldquo;trusted partners on the ground,&rdquo; it cited the department as saying.

On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was ready to launch another military operation against Syrian Kurdish groups in the country&rsquo;s northeast, pointing to what he called terrorist zones. If launched, the operation will be Turkey&rsquo;s fourth since 2016.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun recently announced that the United States would provide more than $720 million in humanitarian assistance for Syria, to be used for &ldquo;both Syrians inside the country and for those in desperate need across the region.&rdquo;

With the latest additions, the United States will have spent more than $12 billion to support Syria since the start of the crisis in 2011, according to Biegun.

Reporter&rsquo;s code: 50101

News Code 138609

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