Last Update 21:52
Monday, 26 August 2019

Syria's US-backed SDF says no to Turkish role in Raqqa operation

Reuters , Thursday 3 Nov 2016
Syria Democratic Forces
Fighters of the Syria Democratic Forces take an overwatch position in northern province of Raqqa, Syria May 27, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1133
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1133

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance of Kurdish and Arab armed groups said on Thursday it would reject Turkish involvement in the operation to drive Islamic State from its Syrian capital Raqqa.

U.S. officials have said they hope to start an offensive against Islamic State in Raqqa within weeks, and have said that the SDF will play a big role, but Washington's ally Turkey has also insisted that it take part in the operation.

"The Syrian Democratic Forces are the only force that will take part in the operation to liberate Raqqa and we informed the (international U.S.-led) coalition forces that we reject any Turkish role in the Raqqa liberation operation," SDF spokesman Talal Silo told Reuters.

Turkey's military and allied Syrian rebel groups last week fought against Kurdish forces allied to the SDF in northwest Syria, where both sides are seeking to take territory from their mutual enemy Islamic State.

Ankara is dismayed at the prominent role in the SDF played by the Kurdish YPG militia, which it sees as a front for the Kurdistan Workers Party that has waged a three-decade insurgency inside Turkey.

Since it was formed in early 2015, the SDF has seized large swathes of territory along the Syria-Turkey border from Islamic State and pushed the jihadist group back to within 30km (18 miles) of Raqqa.

An offensive by the Iraqi army and Kurdish forces, backed by the U.S., started last month to reclaim Mosul, the largest city under the control of the jihadist group, and one whose capture would leave Raqqa as Islamic State's most important possession.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.