15:33 GMT07 March 2021
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    According to the Turkish deputy prime minister, the operations against Daesh jihadist group in Raqqa and Mosul should be played by local forces.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — The main role in operations against Daesh jihadist group in Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq, should be played by local forces, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday.

    "We believe that local forces in Raqqa and Mosul must take the lead in operations against IS [Daesh]. The international coalition should control them. It is important that Syrian Kurds' self-defense forces do not participate in operations in Raqqa. As the Free Syrian Army has become a major force in the fight against IS in Jarabulus and al-Bab, here too the moderate opposition should take the lead," Kurtulmus told reporters in Ankara after a meeting of the country's Council of Ministers.

    At the G20 summit in China, September 4, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Turkey's intentions to assist in the liberation of Raqqa. However, Turkey will refuse involvement if Kurdish fighters take part in the Raqqa operation, he said.

    The city of Raqqa became Daesh capital in Syria after it was captured by the group in 2014. The other main city under Daesh control is Mosul in Iraq. At the moment, Iraqi forces are preparing an operation to retake Mosul.


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