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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Syrian Kurds Want Turkish 'Occupants' to Stay Away From Liberating Raqqa

Sputnik News

15:55 13.02.2017(updated 16:02 13.02.2017)

The Syrian Kurds are capable of liberating the city of Raqqa, a stronghold of the Daesh terrorist group, on their own without participation of Turkey, Representative to Russia of Northern Syria's Rojava Kurdish region Rodi Osman told Sputnik.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke on the phone last week, reportedly agreeing to act jointly in Raqqa and the northern town of al-Bab.

"We have notified the international coalition fighting Daesh that we were capable of liberating Raqqa by ourselves independently of anyone else. Our resistance against Daesh, our fight against them evidences that we are able to liberate regions of our motherland," Osman said.

Late last week, a source in the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) told Sputnik that the SDF units had advanced to a position just three miles to the north-east from Raqqa.

Osman added that Rojava did not "need any support from Turkey, because their help would only complicate the situation. They would seek to stay in Northern Syria."

According to him, the Turkish forces would use its operation in Raqqa to expand Ankara's presence in Syria that it had managed to gain by carrying out its Euphrates Shield operation in Northern Syria.

"Turkey violated Security Council Resolution 2268 adopted on February 26, 2016 on the cessation of hostilities in Syria and opened its borders to Daesh terrorists, who in turn moved in the direction of the Syrian city Tell Abyad. These actions make it clear what the real intentions of Erdogan are. His desire is to occupy our country. No region can be liberated from terrorists with the support of the occupants," Osman said.

On Sunday, Erdogan said that Turkish forces had entered the center of al-Bab and Daesh jihadists started to flee the town. He added that the operation would not stop, since the ultimate goal was to free northern Syria including Raqqa. Erdogan stressed that Turkey had no intentions to stay in the region after freeing it from Daesh, so all the settlements will be returned to the local residents.

On August 24, the Turkish army launched Operation Euphrates Shield against militants of the Daesh group, which is outlawed in Russia and many other countries. Turkish forces, with assistance from Syrian opposition fighters, occupied the city of Jarablus in northern Syria and are currently conducting its offensive on al-Bab. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the aim of the operation is to clear the region of terrorists and make it a safety zone for refugees.

The operation has been widely criticized both by the Syrian Kurds and Damascus, who have accused Ankara of violating Syria's territorial integrity.

Operation Wrath of Euphrates aimed at liberating Raqqa from Daesh was launched on November 5 of last year.


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