Turkey says it could seize IS stronghold with US

AP News
|
Posted: May 30, 2016 5:47 AM

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey's foreign minister says joint U.S.-Turkish military action could oust the Islamic State group from Syria.

Speaking in Antalya late Sunday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says that operation could "easily advance to Raqqa," the main IS bastion in Syria.

American Special Operations forces and a coalition known as the Syria Democratic Forces have begun clearing areas north of Raqqa in preparation for an eventual assault on the city. A major player in the coalition is the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, which Turkey — unlike the United States — views as a terrorist organization.

Turkey is part of the U.S.-led coalition against IS and a Turkish air base is being used to launch bombing runs against IS.

But the involvement of Kurdish factions in the anti-IS effort has strained U.S.-Turkish relations.