Turkey, US can turn Raqqa into ’graveyard’ for ISIL: President Erdoğan
ISTANBULTurkey and the United States can join forces to turn Raqqa into a "graveyard" for the Islamic State Iraq and The Levant (ISIL), the Turkish President said on April 29, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
"The huge America, the coalition and Turkey can join hands and turn Raqqa into a graveyard for Daesh," President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told the general assembly of the All Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUMSIAD) in Istanbul.
Turkey’s ongoing fight against terrorist groups is not optional but necessary for the country's safety, President Recep Erdoğan said.
"The fight against terrorist organizations is not an option for us, but a must,"
“We will not tolerate any terrorist group.” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan also said he would present Trump at their meeting next month with "documents" proving the YPG’s links to the PKK.
"We are telling American friends not to take a terror group along with them," Erdoğan said.
Regarding the Raqqa, Syria operation, Erdogan said he would discuss
the issue with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump at their meeting on May 16.
He said Turkey's ongoing anti-terror war should not be considered a game either.
Erdoğan also hinted at a new operation against the presence of the PKK, PYD and YPG in northern Iraq’s Mt. Sinjar region and northern Syria.
"Turkey knows what to do and when to do it; we may come there overnight all of a sudden," said Erdoğan.
"Do not toy with this nation. Everybody will see it," the president said, citing airstrikes on Mt. Sinjar and Syria’s Mt. Karaçok.
He once again urged the U.S.-led anti-ISIL coalition forces to back Turkey, not the PYD/YPG militants.
"If we cooperate -- the U.S., Turkey, and all coalition forces – we will drive Daesh out of Raqqa. They will look for a place to hide," Erdoğan said, adding that allowing other groups to gain ground in Iraq would cause more carnage.