Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 9
By Orkhan Guluzade – Trend:
Turkey's continuing military operations in Syria, in particular the expected operations in the city of Al-Raqqah may cause dissatisfaction of the US, former head of the intelligence department of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, retired colonel-general Ismail Hakki Pekin told Trend Sept. 9.
However, the US will support Turkey in operations to liberate the Syrian city of Al-Bab from militants of the “Islamic State” (IS, aka ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) terrorist group, he said.
Pekin said that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) with the support of the Turkish Armed Forces is already on the outskirts of the city of Al-Bab.
The former intelligence chief of the Turkish General Staff believes that the country carries out operations in Syria not only for the security of its borders but also to preserve the territorial integrity of Syria.
“The city of Aleppo must be cleared of IS terrorists to preserve Syria's territorial integrity,” Pekin said. “Aleppo is also strategically important for the onset of the Turkish Armed Forces on Al-Raqqah, and both Russia and Iran supports Ankara in this move.”
Pekin doesn’t rule out that it will be much easier to restore stability in Aleppo with the support of Tehran and Moscow.
On Aug. 24 morning, the Turkish Air Force, with the support of the coalition aircraft, launched an operation to liberate the city of Jarabulus from the IS militants in northern Syria, near Aleppo. The operation was dubbed Shield of the Euphrates.
Syria has been suffering from an armed conflict since March 2011, which, according to the UN, has so far claimed over 500,000 lives.
Militants from various armed groups are confronting the Syrian government troops. The “Islamic State” (IS, ISIL, ISIS or Daesh), the YPG and the PYD are the most active terrorist groups in Syria.
Follow the author on Twitter: @o_quluzade