Turkey’s con­cern over as­sault on Raqqa

7 Days in Dubai - - SPECIAL REPORT -

Turkey has said that Wash­ing­ton has promised that US-backed Syr­ian Kur­dish forces will only be in­volved in en­cir­cling the ISIS strong­hold of Raqqa and will not en­ter the city it­self. But a top Kur­dish of­fi­cial said the Kur­dish-led forces that launched an of­fen­sive ear­lier this week will en­ter the north­ern Syr­ian city, which serves as the de facto cap­i­tal of the ex­trem­ists’ self-styled caliphate. The US-backed Syria Demo­cratic Forces, which in­clude Arab and Turk­men fight­ers, have driven ISIS from large swaths of ter­ri­tory, but Turkey views the Syr­ian Kurds who dom­i­nate the group as an ex­ten­sion of the Kur­dish in­sur­gency rag­ing in its south­east. Turkey has sent its own forces into Syria to back Syr­ian op­po­si­tion fight­ers, and has sug­gested that they should lead the of­fen­sive to re­take Raqqa. The Turkey-backed forces, now push­ing to­ward Al Bab.

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