Turkey wants to join U.S.-led operation against Islamic State in Raqqa
Turkish military officials are in touch with their American counterparts on a possible joint military operation against Daesh's headquarters in Raqqa, Erdogan said, Daily Sabah reported.
"We have shared with them our preconditions to join this operation."
However, the US's attitude toward the Raqqa operation is yet to be clear, he noted. "If the US wants to conduct the operation with the PKK's Syrian offshoots, the PYD and YPG, Turkey will definitely be part of it. If not, we will surely support it."
Officials from the military, Foreign Ministry and intelligence will deliberate on various plans once the US's attitude becomes clear, Erdogan said.
"Another sensitive topic is the freeing of Mosul, where Arabs and our Turkmen compatriots live. Whether the US shares our sensitivities or not, I don't know but their attitude seems positive. It is said that a military operation to free Mosul will be launched on Oct. 19. We'll see what happens."
However, Turkey, which is hosting millions of refugees from Syria and Iraq, needs to be ready for all eventualities, argued Erdogan, adding that cooperation between Arabs and the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) peshmergas who benefitted from the train-and-equip program was of paramount importance for the Mosul operation.
He said the US administration's policies on Syria were so confused that when he asked U.S. Vice President Joe Biden about two plane-loads of weapons delivered to Kobani for the PYD just a few days ago, he claimed ignorance. "I told him, 'You say that but I know it.' How can this happen? Only the next day [Secretary of Defense Ash] Carter said, 'We hand them weapons and will continue to do so.'"