Mattis: US arms for Syrian Kurds will continue after Raqqa

But Syria has been in a civil war since 2011, and many of those US -backed forces are also considered a threat by the Assad government. On April 4, a chemical weapons attack was launched from the Shayrat base against Syrian civilians.

USA forces would not fire on targets "unless they are the enemy, unless they are ISIS", he said late on Monday.

The White House also issued a warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad late Monday that claimed the US had "potential" evidence that Syria was preparing for another chemical weapons attack.

"Our goal is always for zero civilian casualties", the statement said.

April's attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun was reported to have killed at least 87 people, including many children, and images of the dead and of suffering victims provoked global outrage. Pro-Assad forces backed by Russian Federation and Iran also have a presence in the area, close to where Syria's borders converge with those of Jordan and Iraq. "The closer we get, the more complex it gets".

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 42 people were killed, identifying them as prisoners of Islamic State.

The UK's defence secretary, Michael Fallon, said the United States had not shared any evidence of a specific threat of a chemical weapons attack.

Baku Might Actually Be the Most Challenging Circuit on the F1 Calendar
After about hald an hour, we started to see the supersofts reappear as the teams shifted their focus to qualifying runs. I locked up and I was still trying to make the corner and then I chose to play it safe and take the exit road.

In addition to the White House threat, a spate of incidents in recent weeks - including the downing of a Syrian government jet and two Iranian-made drones by US aircraft - appear to suggest the opposite of Mattis's claims.

Following the shooting down of the Syrian jet, Russian Federation said it would treat US aircraft west of the Euphrates as "targets", but since the threats USA aircraft have continued to operate on both sides of the river without apparent incident. ISIS' meteoric rise, however, was primarily an outcome of two failed states in the heart of the Middle East-Iraq and Syria-and the marginalization of Sunni communities in Iraq's al-Anbar province and Syria's rural areas.

Mattis said the US gave the fighters weapons they needed for the urban fighting they are facing in Raqqa.

Ankara, however, fears that weapons given to the Kurdish fighters will end up in the hands of insurgents in Turkey, known as the PKK.

Washington is backing a Kurdish-Arab alliance besieging Raqqa from the southeast and west.

In a news bulletin flashed on screen, it said the building had been used as a prison for a "large number of civilians".

The U.S., however, sees the YPG as an essential ally in the campaign to defeat Islamic State in Raqqa, the jihadists' main urban base in Syria.

Related Articles

  • Andy Murray pulls out of Hurlingham exhibition match with sore hip

    Andy Murray pulls out of Hurlingham exhibition match with sore hip

    Open previous year , are now looking ahead to Wimbledon, where they reached the quarter-finals in 2016. 'I think, yeah, I think we'd probably quite like to.
    Tebow being promoted to Mets' affiliate in Florida

    Tebow being promoted to Mets' affiliate in Florida

    But Tebow has recently improved in certain aspects, Alderson said , such as power, on-base percentage and exit velocity. New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson announced Tebow's promotion Sunday.

    Hundreds of households to be evacuated in wake of London tower fire

    The identities of the three men and one woman are not being revealed "on request of the families", Scotland Yard said. The NHS is reported to be among organisations checking their buildings are safe.
  • Srinkanth Storms into Third Successive Superseries Final

    With 25,060 points, he trailed only Chinese Taipei's Chou Tien Chen, who had 28,090 points against his name this year. Srikanth has now reached his third consecutive final. "To beat Chen Long in the final of a big event is not easy".
    Chinese automaker buys stake in Malaysia's Proton

    Chinese automaker buys stake in Malaysia's Proton

    Malaysia's national carmaker Proton is now partly owned by Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group after the signing of a deal with DRB-Hicom yesterday.
    South Korean president calls for North Korean Olympic participation

    South Korean president calls for North Korean Olympic participation

    About 40 percent said they were interested in the Olympics, a four percent increase, with nine percent saying they would attend. During his stay in the South, Chang is expected to meet South Korean officials to discuss cooperation at the Winter Olympics .
  • Day becomes first Israeli driver to race at NASCAR's top level

    Day becomes first Israeli driver to race at NASCAR's top level

    Elliott said. "Hate that, but yeah, I guess it could have been worse, so we will go try again tomorrow". Jimmie Johnson led the final 11 laps to win Stage 2 of the NASCAR Cup Series event at Sonoma Raceway .
    Macron's Party Wins Big

    Macron's Party Wins Big

    Unlike Macron, however, they came from long-established political parties with developed electoral apparatuses. The Socialist Party and its allies are projected to win 20 to 30 seats.

    AP analysis shows how gerrymandering benefited GOP in 2016

    Two researchers who developed the efficiency gap say Kentucky's results are, statistically speaking, not much different than zero. More than one-third of state House races were unopposed in 2016, including 18 Republican candidates and 16 Democratic races.
  • Chile feels the fatigue from its all-out play in Confed Cup

    "We know that in the semi-finals both Chile and Germany are great teams , but we are confident and want to win". "And I'm sure it's going to be difficult.for Portugal as well".
    Mother's hot vehicle  lesson ends in kids' deaths

    Mother's hot vehicle lesson ends in kids' deaths

    Randolph initially told authorities she was folding laundry and watching TV and realized within an hour that her kids were "gone". At the time Randolph stated the kids were exposed to the extreme temperature levels in the vehicle for "no greater than an hour".
    U.S.  officials to lift Yellowstone grizzly bear protections

    U.S. officials to lift Yellowstone grizzly bear protections

    The question that has plagued every conversation about Yellowstone grizzlies for well over a year was finally answered today. Advocates have spoken out against the federal government's decision, expressing worry over the future of the grizzly bears .