May 10, 2017 / 1:36 PM / 2 years ago

Turkey says U.S. decision to arm Syrian Kurds is a 'crisis': defense minister

Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik addresses the media during a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, in this file photo dated April 21, 2017. Ozgur Yurdakadim/Prime Minister's Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

ANKARA (Reuters) - The U.S. decision to provide weapons for Kurdish militants in the fight against Islamic State in Syria is a “crisis”, Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik said on Wednesday, adding that the decision would not benefit the United States or the region.

Speaking to broadcaster NTV on the sidelines of a defense conference in Istanbul, Isik said Turkey should not be expected to support any potential operations in Syria involving “terrorist organizations”.

Turkey urged the United States on Wednesday to reverse the decision, saying every weapon supplied to the YPG militia constituted “a threat to Turkey”. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he was confident the United States would be able to resolve tensions with Turkey the decision.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by David Dolan

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