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DIPLOMACY >US anti-ISIL envoy Brett McGurk holds talks in Turkey

Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA

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REUTERS photo

REUTERS photo

Brett McGurk, the U.S. special envoy for the coalition to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is set to hold discussions in Ankara on June 30 after his visit to Syria.

McGurk will have talks at the Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry, according to sources. 

His visit comes amid an ongoing offensive by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to liberate Raqqa from ISIL. 

McGurk has been in Syria to consult with local partners on the campaign to defeat ISIL, to see first-hand the humanitarian and stabilization assistance that is underway in liberated areas north of Raqqa, and to hold discussions with local leaders and councils on post-liberation governance, the U.S. Department of State said in June 29.

He also met with the Raqqa Civilian Council to discuss stabilization efforts in post-ISIS Raqqa, it added. 

Ankara is concerned with the U.S.’s delivery of arms to the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which dominates the SDF in the Raqqa offensive, as Turkey believes the group is an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Washington has tried to assure Ankara that it will inform its NATO ally about the weapons delivered to the Syrian Kurdish militia.

June/30/2017

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