We could not have done without Turkey in Syria: Senior US commander
WASHINGTONThe U.S.-led coalition could not have achieved what it has achieved in Syria as of today without Turkey’s support, CENTCOM commander Joseph Votel was quoted as saying on Oct. 19 by state-run Anadolu Agency.
Responding to a question at a panel discussion at the Washington-based Center for American Progress think tank, Votel said the support NATO ally Turkey has given to the U.S. and the anti-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) coalition has allowed recent advances against ISIL in Syria.
He also said bases and other facilities in Turkey were crucial to the U.S.
Votel noted that the recent seizing of Syria’s symbolically important town of Dabiq by Turkey-backed Syrian rebels from ISIL militants was an “important operation.”
Meanwhile, the CENTCOM commander also suggested that the operation to retake Iraq’s Mosul from ISIL could last “more than one year and include some bloody combat.”
“The operation we did to Manbij, in northern Syria, took about 71 days to complete, from start to finish,” Votel, comparing Manbij to other ISIL strongholds of Raqqa and Mosul.
“Raqqa, the self-proclaimed ISIL capital, is about three times the size of Manbij and Mosul is about three times the size of Raqqa,” Votel added, suggesting that Mosul is the hardest stronghold of ISIL.