11:45 GMT +306 December 2019
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    US Senator John McCain attends a news conference at the Benjamin Franklin Library in Mexico City, Mexico December 20, 2016.

    US Facing ‘Tough Decisions’ Regarding Cooperation With Kurds, Turkey - McCain

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    US Senator John McCain claims that the United States will have to decide to what extent it can support the Kurdish forces during the offensive to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa as the country also has to ensure cooperation with Turkey.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States will have to decide to what extent it can support the Kurdish forces during the offensive to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa as the country also has to ensure cooperation with Turkey, US Senator John McCain told reporters.

    "There's no doubt the Kurds are great fighters. I'm a great admirer of the Kurds," McCain said on Wednesday as quoted by Military.com. "But we also understand that without the Turks, we will take Raqqa, but it will take a lot longer time… it's an enormous challenge, and that's got to be addressed."

    McCain noted that the US military could lose access to the Incirlik air base in Turkey, if the US cooperation with the Kurds moves further.

    McCain suggested US Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster should have a personal conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on future steps.

    During Syria’s conflict, the Kurdish forces have emerged as perhaps the most effective elements fighting Daesh terror group.

    However, Turkey claims that the some of the Kurdish groups, including the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), are closely aligned with the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), which is designated as a terrorist group by Ankara.


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