Turkey warns US relations at risk if Kurds help retake Raqqa

AP , Thursday 9 Mar 2017

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says the United States risks major damage to its relationship with NATO ally Turkey if Kurdish forces are included in the fight to retake Raqqa, the Islamic State group's de facto capital.

Turkey and the U.S. are locked in a heated dispute about U.S. plans to liberate Raqqa, with Turkey suggesting its own military and allied forces in Syria should mount the fight. Yildirim says Turkey wouldn't be part of any operation including the Syrian Kurdish force.

He tells The Associated Press on the sidelines of a meeting with visiting foreign journalists that "if the U.S. were to prefer terrorist organizations over Turkey in the fight against IS, that would be their own decision." But he says Turkey wouldn't consent.

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