Ankara has proposed a US-Turkish joint force to expel Islamic State (ISIS) forces from their de facto capital in Raqqa, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported on Saturday.

Turkey’s military chief, Hulusi Akar, proposed two paths for such operation to the US Chief of Staff Jospeh Dunford during a recent meeting at the Incirlik airbase.

One option would be a Turkish-US military incursion, including “moderate rebels” backed by Turkey, from the city of Tal Abyad pushing south towards Raqqa. The second way would imply advancing, through a longer route, from the city of Al-Bab in east Aleppo towards Raqqa.

Both schemes are unlikely to be adopted, since the risk of clashing with other belligerents in the Syrian war is very high.

An incursion from Tel Abyad would require the consent of the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), heavily backed by the US at this time, in order to create a “Kurdish free” route from the Syria-Turkish border towards Raqqa.

Kurdish forces resent Ankara as they have been attacked by Turkey, and the later considers the Syrian-Kurdish YPG as a terrorist organization linked to the PKK.

On the other hand, an incursion from Al-Bab seems every day more unlikely since the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is rapdily advancing southeast of the city, towards the ISIS stronghold of Deir Hafer, eyeing at both the Khafsa Water Plant and the Maskanah Plains.

An attempt by Turkey to advance through this front would risk a direct clash with the Syrian Armed Forces and even Russia, derailing the recent rapprochment between Moscow and Ankara, and even sparking a major confrontation.

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Stern Daler
2017-02-19 02:33

Both routes take for granted that Turkey and the US rule Syria. Else they need an UN Security mandate or a Syrian government invitation.

Daeshbags Sux
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Daeshbags Sux
2017-02-19 07:54
Reply to  Stern Daler

And the little detail is that except a few SOF, mostly here to train SDF recruits or to do spotting job for air-strikes, there are merely no US troops on the ground and frankly, if SDF opened a corridor, well, personally, I’d let them do so, mass troops near Raqqa then really play dirty by closing the corridor and let the Turks and their puppets deal with IS without supplies… But I’m very nasty when I face assholes…

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Stern Daler
2017-02-19 15:42
Reply to  Daeshbags Sux

Frankly – I would not go for it if I was a Turk general and the SDF opened a corridor to Raqqa or the Greeks offered me an island as a gift.

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Nestor Arapa
2017-02-19 03:32

Turquía quiere distraer la atención para que SDF no siga avanzando hacia Al-Raqqa. En el fondo Erdogan simpatiza con ISIS así como parte de la hermandad musulmana tiene el mismo pensamiento.

Assad must stay
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Assad must stay
2017-02-19 10:06

A new disaster in perspective. They should stay at home. There is a black cat and a scale in this affair : the kurdish will never accept this action.