US President Donald Trump has told his Turkish counterpart that the United States will closely cooperate with Turkey in the fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and other issues regarding the situation in Syria and Iraq, CNN Turkey reported on Tuesday citing own sources.
— CNN Türk ENG (@CNNTURK_ENG) April 18, 2017
The reported followed a phone call between the US and Turkish presidents. However, CNN Turkey’s information still has to be confirmed.
The United States is one of the main backers of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) that is a core of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) operating in northern Syria. Washnigton desperately needs the SDF if it really wants to storm the ISIS self-proclaimed capital of Raqqah one day.
In turn, Ankara describes the YPG as a branch of the PKK and sees it as a terrorist group.
Meanwhile, the advance on Raqqah is not going very fast (CNN):
The US general commanding the coalition fight against ISIS expects the fight for its de facto capital to have hit the city center by this summer, and in an exclusive interview with CNN, he held out the possibility that more US troops may be needed for that tougher fight.
Speaking on a day trip to the Bakhaira base, where US troops provide assistance for the fight in the Iraqi city of Mosul, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said, “I certainly hope that the assault on Raqqa is underway by this summer.”
Pressed if he would be surprised if that fight continued into next year, he said, “In Raqqa city? Yes.”