Turkey wants to join U.S.-led operation against Islamic State in Raqqa – Erdogan

 Reuters International

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S. September 20, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz


ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey wants to join the United States in a military operation to push Islamic State from its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, as long as it excludes Kurdish rebel forces, President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying on Sunday.

NATO member Turkey, part of the U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State, is backing Arab and Turkmen Syrian rebels who seized the Syrian town of Jarablus from the jihadists a month ago in an operation it has dubbed “Euphrates Shield.”

But Ankara is wary of the U.S.-allied People’s Protection Units (YPG) and its political arm, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Syrian Kurdish groups it sees as extensions of Kurdish militants who have waged a three-decade insurgency on its own soil.

“Our foreign minister and military authorities are in talks with the United States discussing the matter of Raqqa. We shared with them our conditions,” Erdogan told reporters on his plane returning from New York, where he spoke at the annual United Nations general assembly and met U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

“Taking a joint step is important for us,” he said, according to private broadcaster NTV. “If the United States does not insert the PYD and YPG into this business, we can fight this battle with the United States.”

Turkey has focused much of its energy during the six-year war in neighbouring Syria on its desire to oust President Bashar al-Assad rather than fighting Islamic State. Its recent push into northern Syria came after steady advances by the YPG.

But Erdogan said Turkey had exhibited “the most effective struggle against Islamic State, despite the disinformation.”

Senior U.S. military officials said last week they were considering arming Syrian Kurdish fighters and acknowledged the difficulty of balancing this with the relationship with Ankara.

Erdogan said he asked Biden about weapons shipments to Kurds and that the vice president said he was not aware of any such deliveries.

(Reporting by Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by Mark Potter)



6 replies

    • This conflict will not stop until all Islamic countries obey Human Right and treat all people equally and fairly. And there is no other solution, only obey Allah’s law ( Human Right).

      • sounds good what you are saying, however, even that will not stop those who just want to destabilize and destroy.

  1. @ Rafiq
    only weak countries can be destabilized and destroyed by others…
    Most of Islamic countries are weak, poverty and conflict all times ,
    Because of conflict among Muslim, others countries will take side for help, and then kill each other..
    this is what we see in Islamic countries now, this is the fact cant be denied.

    the root of conflict is the book of Hadith.
    Most of clerics like to judge each other, whereas Allah forbid to judge others, only Allah has the right to judge His people’s faith.

    For example.
    The extremist clerics have been judging Muslim Ahmadiyyah blasphemer or Heresy etc. whereas Allah forbid to judge other. right? So the extremist clerics do not obey Allah’s law r Human Right..

    Can you see my point Rafiq?

    • Yes, as Dr. Tariq Ramadan of Geneva said: “We are being destroyed because we are destroyable, we are being destabilized because we are destabilizable, just like we were colonialized because we were colonializable”. – But I do not agree that the root of the conflict is the book of Hadith. The root of the conflict is that some Western nations (guided by Israel) are using the weakness of the Muslim countries (and other ‘third-world-countries’ (not only Muslim) to …. see above.

      • @ Rafiq A. Tschannen—-you still do not believe that the root of conflict in Muslim countries is the book of Hadith–or imam Muslim-bukhari.
        I give you a example;

        Why does Extremist Muslims punish and kill Ahmadiyyah Muslims and Shiah Muslim?

        Do you think the zionist or America asks the Extremist Muslims to punish / kill Ahmadiyyah Muslim and Shia Muslim ?

        Can you answer it honestly if you are a honest Muslim of Ahmdiyyah.

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