Turkish PM: US Promises Kurds Won’t Stay in Raqqa

YPG Will Conquer, But Not Keep City, Officials Insist

Speaking to reporters today during an official visit to London, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says that the United States has assured Turkey that even though the Kurdish YPG is being used to invade ISIS’ capital city of Raqqa, they will not keep control of the city after the battle.

These assurances appear to have been made to try to placate Turkish outrage over US plans to arm the YPG with heavy weapons for the Raqqa battle, and for the US choosing to back the YPG in the offensive against ISIS in general, something Turkey has repeatedly condemned.

Kurdish officials have never said anything about conquering Raqqa for somebody else, and it would be unusual for the group to be willing to commit so heavy to the invasion of a city if they didn’t have designs on incorporating it into their self-declared autonomous region.

It’s also not clear how credible the US assurances will be taken, as they made materially the same promise over the former ISIS city of Manbij, just a bit to the west of Raqqa, and Kurdish forces ultimately kept the city under their control, with the US even sending troops to prevent Turkey invading the city.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.