Turkey says it can oust mil­i­tants by fight­ing with US

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Turkey’s for­eign min­is­ter has sug­gested his coun­try could carry out joint mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions with the United States to oust ISIS from Syria.

Speak­ing in Antalya, Mev­lut Cavu­soglu said that op­er­a­tions could “eas­ily ad­vance to Raqqa”, the main ISIS bas­tion in Syria.

Amer­i­can spe­cial op­er­a­tions forces and a coali­tion known as the Syria Demo­cratic Forces have be­gun clear­ing ar­eas north of Raqqa in prepa­ra­tion for an even­tual as­sault on the city.

A ma­jor player in the coali­tion is the Kur­dish Peo­ple’s Pro­tec­tion Units, or YPG, which Turkey - un­like the United States - views as a ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Turkey is part of the US-led coali­tion against ISIS and a Turk­ish air base is be­ing used to launch bomb­ing runs against the mil­i­tants.

But the in­volve­ment of Kur­dish fac­tions in the anti-ISIS ef­fort has strained US-Turk­ish re­la­tions. Ac­cord­ing to Vatan news­pa­per yes­ter­day, Cavu­soglu crit­i­cised the US for deal­ing with the po­lit­i­cal wing of the YPG and said it would be bet­ter off unit­ing forces with Turkey.

“Un­for­tu­nately the US is en­ter­ing a phase that is very dan­ger­ous for the fu­ture of Syria,” said Cavu­soglu. “We have warned them.”

The United States, Cavu­soglu added, was not ful­fill­ing its prom­ises and had fallen be­hind on the de­liv­ery of HIMARS mis­siles that were due to ar­rive this month.

HIMARS stands for High Mo­bil­ity Ar­tillery Rocket Sys­tem. Their de­liv­ery is now ex­pected in Au­gust, ac­cord­ing to the for­eign min­is­ter.

“We are ready but in­stead of im­ple­ment­ing the agree­ment, (US sol­diers) are go­ing and wear­ing the patches of the YPG,” he said.

Im­ages of US spe­cial forces wear­ing the in­signia of the Kur­dish group while de­ployed in Syria sparked out­rage among Turk­ish of­fi­cials last week.

In light of Turkey’s sen­si­tiv­i­ties, Amer­i­can spe­cial op­er­a­tions troops have since been in­structed to re­move them.

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