Tags: erdogan | trump | isis | syria

Erdogan Seeks to Join Forces With Trump Against ISIS in Syria

Image: Erdogan Seeks to Join Forces With Trump Against ISIS in Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (AP)

Saturday, 24 Dec 2016 01:17 PM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to seek the support of the incoming Donald Trump administration for joint action against Islamic State in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Turkish troops are close to capturing the Islamic State-stronghold of al-Bab in northwest Syria and could move via the town of Manbij toward the group’s de facto capital in Raqqa, Erdogan said in a televised speech in Istanbul on Saturday.

Erdogan reiterated his country’s readiness to extend its fight against the jihadist group in Raqqa if President-elect Trump agrees to prevent Kurdish forces from participating in such an operation. Turkey is concerned the Kurds’ territorial gains in Syria could lead to a new state within the country, in turn provoking separatist Kurdish aspirations at home. Kurds have established control over much of Syria’s north during five years of civil war, and in doing so, emerged as a favored U.S. fighting force in the ground war against Islamic State.

“We will not allow the formation of a new state in northern Syria,” Erdogan said as he vowed to retake the Syrian town of Manbij, which was seized by Kurdish forces from Islamic State. “After Manbij, Raqqa is next if we can join hands with the U.S.”

Turkey launched an incursion into Syria in August to fight Islamic State and the Kurdish forces of PYD/YPG, regarded by Turkey as terrorists for their links to the PKK, whose fight for autonomy in Turkey’s southeast has killed nearly 40,000 people, cost hundreds of billions of dollars, and undermined Turkish aspirations to join the European Union.

“We will declare a safe zone cleared from terrorism in northern Syria,” Erdogan said.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to seek the support of the incoming Donald Trump administration for joint action against Islamic State in the Syrian city of Raqqa.Turkish troops are close to capturing the Islamic State-stronghold of al-Bab in northwest Syria...
erdogan, trump, isis, syria
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2016-17-24
Saturday, 24 Dec 2016 01:17 PM
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