Will Turkish airstrikes stop Kurdish-led operation to capture Raqqa?

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YPG commanders and US-led coalition representatives visited the site of Turkish airstrikes in Karakoch, northeastern Syria on Tuesday (Photo: ANF)

Airstrikes by the Turkish military on Kurdish groups in Syria and Iraq on Tuesday has put the operation to capture the Islamic State (IS) stronghold Raqqa in danger, according to statements from Syrian Kurdish leaders.

Turkish airstrikes targeted the positions of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the main group in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is spearheading the assault on Raqqa, killing at least 18 early Tuesday morning, Reuters reported.

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Syrian Kurdish officials of the Kurdish-led autonomous administration in northern Syria have condemned the dozen or so strikes and said they could put the operation in danger if international forces did not put up a stance.

Salih Muslim: We are expecting a statement from the coalition

Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) co-leader Salih Muslim said the airstrikes would have a negative impact on the Raqqa operation, adding, “Turkish warplanes cannot fly in the area without the coalition’s approval. The coalition needs to make a statement. Did the coalition have knowledge of the attack? How do they view this development?”

Ilham Ehmed: Attack occurred as Raqqa operation reaches final stage

Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) co-leader Ilham Ehmed, who spoke from northeastern Derik city’s Karakoch area, which airstrikes targeted, also emphasised that the coalition needed to make its stance clear.

“While the YPG is participating in the Wrath of Euphrates Operation to liberate Raqqa, Turkey is attacking our centres. We do not accept any airstrikes on our forces, whether they be Turkish, Russian or Syrian.”

Fawza Yousif: We will protect our land

A leading member of the North Syria Democratic Federation Executive Council, Fawza Yousif said Kurdish forces would stop the Raqqa operation and instead defend themselves against Turkey if the coalition and US did not stop Ankara’s attacks, Kurdish agency Roj News reported.

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