Turkey, US ‘ready to invade IS capital’ Raqqa

Ankara, Sep 7 (IANS) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday suggested Turkey and the US are ready to drive the Islamic State from its Syrian stronghold of al-Raqqa.

Erdogan said his US counterpart Barack Obama floated the idea of joint action against the militants when they met at the G20 summit in China. BBC reported, quoting Erdogan as saying, Turkey would have “no problem” with such action.

Last month Turkey launched an operation inside Syria, targeting both the IS and Kurdish rebels.

Turkish-backed militia drove IS from the border town of Jarablus, but Turkey has also been concerned with checking the advance of Kurdish forces whom it regards as terrorists.

Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said Turkish forces might push deeper into Syria after securing a stretch of land along the border.

Canikli also said 110 Islamic State and Kurdish militia fighters had been killed since the operation began.

Russia, which is allied to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said it was “deeply concerned” by the Turkish advance.

Erdogan’s comments on Raqqa were published in Turkish media. There has been no confirmation from the US.

“Obama wants to do some things jointly concerning Raqqa,” Erdogan said. “We said this would not be a problem from our perspective.”

“I said: ‘Our soldiers should come together and discuss, then what is necessary will be done,'” Erdogan added.



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