Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Turkey will not act unilaterally to "liberate" Raqqa: Erdoğan at UNGA

Turkey supports plans to drive the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) out of its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa and it would not act alone in any such operation, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated.

Talking to Reuters in New York, where he will attend and give a speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations, Erdoğan said Turkey supported plans to drive ISIL out of its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa together with the U.S.-led anti-ISIL coalition forces.

“Turkey will not act unilaterally to liberate Raqqa. We will get involved in actions taken by the [U.S.-led] coalition forces,” said Erdoğan on Sept. 20.

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told CNN International’s Christiane Amanpour on Sept. 20 that the Syrian city of al-Bab, an ISIL stronghold 40 kilometers south of the Turkish border, and Raqqa, the militant group’s self-declared capital, would be the next targets to recapture from ISIL.

One day prior to Çavuşoğlu’s remarks, Erdoğan had said al-Bab was the next target within the scope of the anti- ISIL operation that Turkey launched around one month ago.

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