21:07 GMT +320 October 2018
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    Islamic State billboards are seen along a street in Raqqa, eastern Syria. The billboard (R) reads: We will win despite the global coalition (File)

    Turkey to Drive Daesh Out of Raqqa If Deal With US Reached - Erdogan

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    Turkish troops will clear the Syrian city of Raqqa occupied by the Daesh terrorist group if Ankara reaches agreement with Washington as well as with the US-led anti-Daesh coalition on the issue, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Ankara has been engaged in the so-called Euphrates Shield operation aimed at fighting Daesh in northern Syria since August 2016. Currently the Turkish troops are fighting against the jihadists in al-Bab, occupied in 2013.

    "We will also clear Raqqa of the herd of killers called Daesh if we come to terms with the United States and the coalition," Erdogan said, as quoted by the Hurriyet Daily News.

    He added that the Turkish troops in cooperation with the Syrian opposition groups supported by Ankara were engaged in a successful battle against Daesh militants in the town of al-Bab.

    At the moment, the jihadists control vast territories of Syria's Raqqa province, including the regional capital itself, which has been announced the capital of their self-proclaimed caliphate.

    On February 13, 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. Anwar Muslim, the chairman of the Kobani provincial government, said the following day that Syrian Kurds were conducting an offensive allowing them to come closer to Raqqa.

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    ​Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus has said that Kurdish forces, such as the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Popular Defense Units (YPG), seizing Raqqa after driving out Daesh could be a threat to Turkey.

    Tags:
    jihadists, anti-Daesh coalition, caliphate, Operation Euphrates Shield, Daesh, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, al-Bab, Turkey, Syria, Raqqa
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