The SDF announced the start of the campaign to liberate Raqqa on Sunday. Photo: Raqqa liberation/Facebook
RUDAW: US and SDF agree Turkey has no role in Raqqa, says SDF
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkey and its armed allies in Syria will play no role in the liberation of Raqqa according to an agreement made between the United States and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a spokesperson for the SDF said on Sunday.
“We have agreed definitively with the international coalition that there will be no role for Turkey or the armed factions allied with it in the operation,” Talal Sello told AFP.
Turkey is coordinating with the Free Syrian Army in the Syrian border regions with Turkey west of the Euphrates. Their aim is to set up a safe zone cleared of ISIS and Kurdish forces, both of which Turkey considers terrorist organizations.
Ankara has objected strongly to the coalition’s cooperation with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the dominant force within the SDF.
But the US has maintained that the SDF is a key ally on the ground.
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Update #1: US seeks Turkish backing for Kurdish-led operation in Raqqa (The Guardian)
Update #2: US in ‘close contact’ with Turkey over Raqqa assault (Al Arabiya)
WNU Editor: The U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is in Turkey right now, and Raqqa is on the top of his agenda .... Dunford, Turkish Leaders Create Long-term Plan Against ISIL in Raqqa (US Department of Defense)