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US-Led Coalition Does Not Support Turkey’s Offensive on al-Bab

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The US-led coalition does not take part in an offensive of Turkish troops and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on the Syrian city of al-Bab.

US-Led Coalition Does Not Support Turkey's Offensive on al-Bab

Turkish tank on its way to the Turkish-Syria border during an operation against ISIS on 24 August, 2016 (Photo: EPA)

The US-led coalition does not participate in an offensive of the Turkish Army and militants of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on the Syrian city of al-Bab, controlled by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, spokesman of the Command of the Coalition Forces, Colonel John Dorrian, said during a video conference for journalists from Baghdad on November 17.

According to Dorrian, the offensive of Turkish troops and “Syrian rebels” is “an independent national decision [of Turkey]” and “is not supported by air strikes of the coalition.” In addition, a group of the US Special Forces, which was deployed in the north of Aleppo province in order to support Turkish military, was also recalled.

“They [the US Special Forces] are not a part of the advance in Al-Bab,” the AFP news agency quoted the words of Dorrian.

The absence of US support of the Turkish military operation in northern Syria is not a result of any conflict between the US and Turkey.

“What we would like to do is to continue to work with them [Turkish military] to develop a plan where everyone remains focused [on defeating IS],” the Colonel added.

The US refusal to support the Euphrates Shield Islamic-Turkish coalition in the offensive on al-Bab may be a result of disagreements between the US and Turkey on an issue of participation of Kurds in the fight against the IS. Currently, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) play a key role in an advance on Raqqa, organized by Washington. The non-interference of the US in the events, taking place to the west of the Euphrates, confirms existence of some agreement with Turkey on this issue.

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