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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Turkey Not to Fight in Syrian Raqqa Alongside Kurdish Units

Sputnik News

16:54 28.10.2016(updated 17:09 28.10.2016)

In case Kurdish units take Raqqa, Turkey is not going to take part in the military liberation.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Turkey is not going to participate in the military operation aimed at liberation of the Syrian city of Raqqa if Kurdish units such as the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) take part in it, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Friday.

"Raqqa issue is not our problem … We have a loud and clear stance there. We can be with you [the United States] against Daesh [Arabic acronym for Islamic State (IS)] in the Raqqa operation but if elements such as PYD/YPG, which we identified as terrorist groups, join the operation, we are not there," Yildirim told reporters, as quoted by the Anadolu news agency.

Yildirim noted that fighting alongside terror organizations was unacceptable for any state.

"We can never be together with those terror groups," he stressed.

In August, Turkish forces, backed by the US-led coalition aircraft, began a military operation dubbed Euphrates Shield to clear the Syrian border town of Jarabulus and the surrounding area of Daesh, outlawed in Russia and many other countries. As Jarabulus was retaken, the joint forces of Ankara, the coalition and Syrian opposition continued the offensive.

On Thursday, Turkey's Defense Minister Fikri Isik said the country was ready to support the opposition Free Syrian Army's (FSA) offensive on Raqqa.


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