Turkey has suggested what it calls a “Mosul model” for the potential Raqqa operation against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), highlighting that Raqqa is also a predominantly Arab city that must be saved by mostly Arab forces. “More than 90 percent of the Raqqa population is Arab. If you assign a terror organization with a different ethnic background to save the city, you would cause a big instability. The same was also valid for Mosul”, Defense Minister Fikri Işık told reporters on Feb. 23, apparently referring to the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD). Işık held an extensive meeting with the United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis last week in Munich as part of a series of discussions with the new U.S. administration for coordinating the future phases of the fight against ISIL. Turkey requests that the U.S. cease its cooperation with the PYD, which it sees as affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The Raqqa operation could be carried out with the participation of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which has developed and improved during Turkey’s Euphrates Shield operation in northern Syria and particularly the al-Bab operation, he added.
Il presidente siriano Bashar al Assad e il presidente russo Vladimir Putin hanno dichiarato che la