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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pentagon Rules Out Russia's Participation in US-Led Coalition's Raqqa Operation

Sputnik News

19:06 25.10.2016(updated 19:31 25.10.2016)

The United States has begun planing an offensive to liberate Raqqa from Daesh, and Russia will not be a member of the operation, US Defense Secretary Carter said.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Russia will not take part in the planed operation by the US-led coalition to retake Raqqa, the Daesh's stronghold in Syria, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told reporters at a joint press conference with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday

"Russia is not a participant in our Raqqa plan," Carter stated. "We do deconflict our coalition operations with Russia through a very professional military-to-military channel. That channel is active every day, and everyone behaves themselves very professionally on both sides in that channel."

The US-led coalition is planning an offensive to free the Syrian city of Raqqa from Daesh and expects the operation to overlap with the offensive to retake Mosul, Carter said.

"We have already begun laying the groundwork with our partners to commence the isolation of Raqqa," Carter stated. "There will be overlap [with Mosul operation]. That is part of our plan and we are prepared for that."

The secretary pointed out that "capable, motivates" local Syrian forces will lead the offensive on the city.

Last week, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford said the Pentagon expects to see success in Mosul and Raqqa in the coming months.

Daesh, which is outlawed in Russia and other countries, seized Mosul in 2014 and Raqqa in 2013 along with a number of other cities and towns in the two countries.


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