03/30/2017, 11.14
TURKEY - SYRIA
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Ankara, 'theoretical' end military operations in Syria: no withdrawal of troops

The Turkish leadership claims the success of the campaign "Euphrates Shield ". The Prime Minister Binali Yildirim does not rule out "new measures" for the future. Silence on the permanence of troops across the border, in Syria. Ankara wants to join the offensive against Raqqa, a stronghold of the Islamic state, but without the Kurds.

 

Istanbul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Turkey has announced the end of military operations in northern Syria, claiming the "success" of the campaign "Euphrates Shield ". However, the Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has not ruled out as of now "new measures" for the future and would not say whether there will be the withdrawal of troops from the neighboring country or if they will remain stationed on the territory.

The Turkish National Security Council, headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the offensive, which lasted six months, was "successful."

In August, Turkey launched a military campaign across the border in Syria, with the aim - according to the official version - to hit the militias of the Islamic State (IS). In fact, Ankara soldiers also fought the militias Kurdish YPG, which Ankara considers "terrorists."

In the context of the operations, the Syrian rebels backed by Turkey have wrested various cities from the jihadist militias, including Jarabulus, Al-Rai, dabiq and Al-Bab. In this town the Turkish troops had earlier suffered heavy losses.

Al-Bab is a strategic location, about 25 kilometers south of the Turkish border, the last jihadist stronghold, in northern Syria, torn in February, from the Islamic State militiamen.

Meanwhile, preparations continue for the final attack on Raqqa, the capital of the "Caliphate" in Syria. In this regard, the President Erdogan said that Turkey wants to work with allies in the context of the offensive, but excludes the presence of Kurdish militias in operations.

This afternoon's scheduled meeting between US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, on an official visit to Turkey, and President Erdogan. In addition to the military campaign in Raqqa, the two allies - although relations in the last period have cooled -  will discuss extradition of Fethullah Gulen. According to Ankara the Islamic preacher for years in exile in Pennsylvania, would the mind of the failed coup of July. Allegations rejected by Gulen, who denies all involvement in the coup in Turkey.

For the United States the extradition request is a legal, not a political matter, and cannot be subject to mediation or agreement between governments.

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