Turkish FM says Raqqa should be taken by 'local forces'

Mevlut Cavusoglu rules out PKK/YPG extremist groups' involvement in retaking Raqqa from ISIL

Turkish FM says Raqqa should be taken by 'local forces'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey’s foreign minister said Wednesday the Syrian city of Raqqa should be taken from ISIL by local forces as soon as possible.

Raqqa has been dubbed the so-called “capital” of the ISIL extremist group.

However, speaking at a joint news conference with Albanian Foreign Minister Di̇tmi̇r Bushati on Wednesday, Cavusoglu also ruled out involvement by the PKK and YPG.

"If you consider the PKK and YPG to be local forces, we would not grant it," Cavusoglu said.

The YPG is the armed wing of the PYD, which Turkey considers the Syrian offshoot of the PKK extremist group.

The PKK -- listed as a extremist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July last year.

Cavusoglu said the PKK/YPG could not be considered local forces in Raqqa in the same way Iraqi Shia militias could not be considered local in the operation to take the northern Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIL.

Turkey’s foreign minister said Ankara respected Iraq’s territorial integrity much more than other states.

"However, we have difficulty in understanding of their [Iraqi government’s] negative attitude on our [Bashiqa] camp. We hope to deal this issue with Iraq on the bilateral level. The talks should continue in the coming period," he added.

One week ago, Iraqi forces backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes launched a much-anticipated offensive to retake Mosul, which was overrun by ISIL in mid-2014.



Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Ekim 2016, 17:15