ANKARA (Sputnik) — The operation to liberate Syrian Raqqa from the Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh) should take place once Euphrates Shield operation has ended and Iraqi Mosul is liberated from the Islamic State, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Monday.
"It is clear that we are thinking about Raqqa. The operation to liberate Syrian Raqqa from the Islamic State terrorists should take place after the end of Turkish Euphrates Shield operation in northern Syria and operation to liberate Iraqi Mosul from the Islamic State," Kurtulmus told journalists.
On October 17, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced the start of the operation to retake Mosul from the Daesh, a jihadist group outlawed in Russia and a number of other countries. More than 30,000 Iraqi and 4,000 Kurdish fighters are taking part in the offensive, backed by about 5,000 US troops and supported by US-led coalition airstrikes.