ADANA (Hurriyet Daily News)—U.S. Chief of Staff General Joseph Dunford held a meeting on February 17 with Turkish Chief of General Staff General Hulusi Akar at the İncirlik air base to discuss an offensive to capture Raqqa from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
During the meeting, Akar informed his U.S. counterpart about the ongoing Euphrates Shield operation and said the northern Syrian town of al-Bab was largely taken under control, according to Turkish military sources.
Akar also highlighted the importance of the support by the U.S.-led anti-ISIL coalition in the fight against terrorism.
The two generals reiterated the consensus on the fight against the terror groups in the region, the sources said.
Turkey hopes the new U.S. administration under Donald Trump will change its policy of cooperation with the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, calling instead for a joint operation between Ankara and Washington rather than using the Syrian Kurdish group to remove ISIL from its self-declared capital.
Defense Minister Fikri Işık said on February 16 that Turkey and the U.S. would consider whether to conduct the Raqqa operation in tandem. “I don’t think the U.S. has taken a definite decision on this,” he added.