Turkey not to join Raqqa operation alongside PYD, YPG

Presidential spokesman Kalin says it is against Turkey's principles to fight alongside Syrian wing of PKK terrorist group

Turkey not to join Raqqa operation alongside PYD, YPG

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey will not participate in a possible operation to clear the northern Syrian city of Raqqa of ISIL as long as that operation enlists the support of the PYD, the Syrian wing of the PKK extremist group, and PYD's military wing YPG, Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Thursday.

"Joining an operation including PYD/YPG is out of the question. In principle, we support clearing Raqqa and other Syrian cities of ISIL. However, our principles and conditions on this issue are clear," he said in an interview with state-owned TRT Haber news network.

The spokesman was answering a question about a possible US-Turkey joint operation to liberate Raqqa, which was discussed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the U.S. President Barrack Obama during the G20 summit in China early September.

Kalin said the negotiations were still ongoing, and nothing has been set yet.

Turkey's approach to any operations in Raqqa would be similar to its approach in Manbij or Jarabulus operations, he added.

Kalin also commented on the process of offering citizenship to Syrians "who meet certain criteria" and said Turkey would continue accepting Syrian refugees, although "it is not the richest country in the world."

"However, it is the country hosting the largest number of refugees," he said, adding Turkey also tops the list in terms of humanitarian aid offered relative to per capita income.

Turkey is hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees in the world – 2.7 million – and has so far spent around $10 billion for the refugees in Turkey.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Eylül 2016, 16:54