Turkey’s concern over assault on Raqqa
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.