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    A fighter from the Kurdish People Protection Unit (YPG) poses for a photo at sunset in the Syrian town of Ain Issi, some 50 kilometres north of Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State (IS) group during clashes between IS group jihadists and YPG fighters on July 10, 2015

    Turkish Deputy PM Calls Seizure of Raqqa by Kurds a Security Threat to Turkey

    © AFP 2017/ DELIL SOULEIMAN
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    Seizure of the Syrian northern city of Raqqa by the Kurdish forces such as the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Popular Defense Units (YPG) after the city’s liberation from Daesh terror group is a threat to Turkey, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Earlier on Monday, representative to Russia of Northern Syria’s Rojava Kurdish region Rodi Osman told Sputnik that the Syrian Kurds were capable of liberating Raqqa on their own without Turkey's participation.

    "If you said, 'We'll liberate Raqqa but replace it [Daesh] with the PYD/YPG,' this would create a first-degree national security threat to Turkey," Kurtulmus said, as quoted by the Anadolu news agency.

    He added that Turkey could make further steps as part of the deal with the international community aimed at liberating Raqqa from Daesh and preventing it from being seized by the PYD and YPG.

    Turkey intervened in northern Syria by launching Operation Euphrates Shield, aimed at combating Daesh, outlawed in Russia and many other countries, in late August 2016. Since then the Turkish-led forces have driven Daesh from a number of settlements in northern Syria, such as Jarabulus. On August 28, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara would continue the operation in northern Syria until the PYD threat was eliminated.

    The Operation Euphrates Shield has been widely criticized by Damascus and the Kurds as violating Syrian sovereignty.

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    Tags:
    kurds, Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Rojava, Syria, Raqqa
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