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Turkey: Send US Special Forces to northern Syria

Foreign Minister Cavusoglu says the proposed move would help moderate Syrian opposition forces fight against Daesh
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu addresses the delegates at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 19, 2017 [Ahmet Gumus - Anadolu Agency]
MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 19 : Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a panel discussion within the "Munich Security Conference" in Munich, Germany on February 19, 2017. ( Turkish Foreign Ministry / Ahmet Gumus - Anadolu Agency )

Turkey proposed that the US should send its own Special Forces to northern Syria to back moderate opposition forces fighting against Daesh, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Sunday.

In his address to the Munich Security Conference, Cavusoglu called on the US and other allies to end their support for the terrorist PKK’s Syrian offshoot, PYD, and instead support the moderate opposition forces in a stronger way.

“Two days ago [US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] Gen. [Joseph] Dunford was in Ankara to discuss all these technical issues. Yes, we proposed to the US to put their Special Forces on the ground to support the local moderate forces,” he said.

Cavusoglu underlined that the right group to support in the fight against Daesh should be the Syrian moderate opposition forces instead of the PYD/YPG, which are affiliated with the terrorist group PKK seeking an independent state.

“Cooperating with a terrorist organisation in our fight against another terrorist organisation is very dangerous,” he said.

“That is the mistake the previous administration in the US made. They gave weapons to YPG and PKK got some of the weapons. And PKK used those weapons in their terrorist attacks in Turkey,” he said.

Cavusoglu highlighted the success of the Syrian moderate opposition forces in the Turkey-led Operation Euphrates Shield in which Free Syrian Army fighters liberated significant areas along the Turkish border from Daesh, including large parts of Al-Bab in Syria’s Aleppo province.

“We are about to take back Al-Bab. After Al-Bab, we can take back Raqqah together,” he said, referring to the stronghold of the terrorist group Daesh in northern Syria.

The Turkey-led Operation Euphrates Shield began in late August 2016 to improve security, support coalition forces, and eliminate the terror threat along the Turkish border using Free Syrian Army fighters backed by Turkish artillery and jets.

Cavusoglu called on partners from the anti-Daesh international coalition to send their special forces for the planned ground offensive to retake Raqqah.

“Why are we relying on a terrorist organisation in our fight?” he asked, referring to the US military’s support for the PKK/PYD terror under ex-President Barack Obama’s administration, which saw the group as its ground ally against Daesh in Syria.

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“We are 65 countries in the coalition against Daesh, and only Turkey has 600,000 troops. Are 65 countries not strong enough, or vigilant enough to defeat one terrorist organisation Daesh, and we rely on another terrorist organisation?” he asked.

Cavusoglu underlined that PKK/PYD’s main interest was not to defeat Daesh, but to gain more territory and to create its own cantons or an independent state.

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  • virgile

    The FSA to liberate Raqqa? Turkey is ridiculing itself again by making more of such stupid plans.

  • Stern Daler

    Doesn’t Cavusoglu remember that his moderate FSA called US special forces to go when they were there? How long will the Turks backed FSA take to go to Raqqa? Al Rai to al Bab is 30 km. Al Bab to Raqqa is 180 km and Akçakale to Raqqa is 90 km. They took from August till now to reach al-Bab which is not taken yet. With this speed they’d take 1.5 to 3 years to reach Raqqa.

  • je suis ΕRDOJIHAD

    ….and how about the over 500 turkish special forces at Al-Bab ???? aren’t good enough???? turks get every support from the Russians, US and NATO and yet they aren’t able to cupture a town after 4 months of fighting !!!!! NATO still relies on them??? poor NATO. Again the turks try to steal victory and then potray themselves as a “great” military power. In every war that they have participated they’ve done the same…..put others to fight in their place and then grab the honors of victory.