Turkey has suggested to the United States two plans of an operation to “liberate” the Syrian city of Raqqah from the ISIS terrorist group, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported on Saturday
According to the report, the Turkish military chief Hulusi Akar had submitted the proposals to his US counterpart Joseph Dunford a day earlier.
Turkey launched a military intervention in Syria in August 2016, deploying troops and heavy military equipment, backed up by warplanes across the border in an operation allegedly aimed against ISIS terrorists.
However, another clear goal of this move was to prevent expansion of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria along with the Turkish border. The Kurdish fighters have seized a large territory there from ISIS. Turkey considers the YPG as a terrorist group associated with the anti-Ankara Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which has been fighting for decades towards creating an independent Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey.
In February, Turkey announced that it had almost captured the city of al-Bab, the last major ISIS stronghold in northern Syria. Following this, the Turkish military is allegedly going to launch a military operation to liberate Raqqa. This move will likely lead to a large-scale confrontation with the YPG.
Meanwhile, the so-called “Syrian Democratic Fources”, predominantly the YPG, launched a US-backed campaign to isolate the ISIS self-proclaimed capital in Syria, Raqqah, in November 2016.