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April 30, 2017

Turkey, US can turn Raqqa into ‘graveyard' for Daesh: Erdogan

Agencies

Istanbul, Apr 30: Turkey and the US can join forces to turn Daesh's de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria into a “graveyard” for the terrorists, the Turkish president said on Saturday.turkey

“The huge America, the coalition and Turkey can join hands and turn Raqqa into a graveyard for Daesh,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told an Istanbul meeting.

“They will look for a place for themselves to hide,” he said.
Erdogan's comments come ahead of a meeting with President Donald Trump on May 16 in the US.

Turkey sees the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria as a terrorist group linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been waging a deadly insurgency against Ankara since 1984.

But for the US, the YPG is essential in the fight against Daesh.

Erdogan repeated his call to the US to cease its support of the YPG in combating Daesh. “The YPG, and you know who's supporting them, are attacking us with mortars. But we will make those places their grave, there is no stopping,” Erdogan said.

Meanwhile, Turkey's military killed 14 members of the PKK in airstrikes in northern Iraq, the military said in a statement.

Six militants were killed around the area of Sinat-Haftan and eight in the countryside around Adiyaman in two separate airstrikes, the military said.

The PKK, which has carried out a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state, has camps in the mountains of northern Iraq, near the Turkish border.

In another development, Turkey's military has relocated a convoy of armored vehicles and personnel carriers to a base near the Syrian border, local media and activists reported Saturday.

Footage shot Friday night showed a long line of trucks carrying military vehicles driving to the area. The private Ihlas news agency reported the convoy was heading to southeastern Sanliurfa province from Kilis in the west.

The agency said the relocation comes after Turkish officials announced the completion of a phase of Turkey's cross-border operation in Syria, adding that the force may be used against Syrian Kurdish militants “if needed.”

Turkish officials announced the conclusion of Operation Euphrates Shield in March but have said they would continue combatting terror to make its borders safe, pointing to both Daesh and Kurdish militants.

Turkey, US can turn Raqqa into ‘graveyard' for Daesh: Erdogan

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