US, Turkey agree to ‘seize and govern’ Syria’s Raqqa
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 7
American and Turkish military leaders have agreed on a long-term plan for "seizing, holding and governing" the de facto ISIS (the “Islamic State” terrorist group, aka IS, ISIL, or Daesh) capital of Raqqa in northern Syria, CNN reported Nov. 7 citing the US Department of Defense's news service.
"The coalition and Turkey will work together on the long-term plan for seizing, holding and governing Raqqa," Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said after meeting his Turkish counterpart Army Gen. Hulusi Akar in the Turkish capital Ankara on Nov. 6, according to DoD News.
Dunford's visit came after the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, which include several Kurdish militant groups that Turkey considers terrorists, announced the launch of their military campaign, "Euphrates Rage."
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said in a statement Nov. 6 they had established a joint operations center for the campaign, which includes multiple Arab, Kurdish and Turkoman militia groups and will be carried out “in coordination with international forces.”
Raqqa is home to nearly 200,000 people, most Sunni Arabs, and an estimated 5,000 militants, according to the activist group ‘Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently’ (RSS).