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.
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.