Erdogan: Turkish operation in Syria will continue to Raqqa

Members of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army advance towards the centre of al-Bab town of Aleppo during the 171th day of the "Operation Euphrates Shield" in Aleppo, Syria on February 10, 2017 [Muhammed Nour / Anadolu Agency]

Members of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army advance towards the centre of al-Bab town of Aleppo during the 171th day of the “Operation Euphrates Shield” in Aleppo, Syria on February 10, 2017

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that the final goal of a Turkish military incursion into Syria was not just to retake the city of al-Bab from Daesh, but to cleanse a border region including Raqqa of the terrorist group.

“The ultimate goal is to cleanse a 5,000-square-km area,” Erdogan told a news conference before his departure on an official visit to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Turkey has long advocated a “safe zone” for civilians in northern Syria cleared of Daesh militants and the Kurdish YPG militia, but says such an area would need to be policed by a no-fly zone.

Read: Assad rejects safe zones proposal

Erdogan said he had discussed this again with the United States and Russia and that Turkey was prepared to do the infrastructure work in the zone, to help prevent migration from Syria and allow those who had fled to Turkey to go home.

Raqqa should be isolated by spring – UK minister

(Source / 12.02.2017)

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