Activists say Kurdish-led forces advance on IS-held Raqqa

"We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the U.S.is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally". For the USA, the PKK is an insurgency that uses terrorist tactics in pursuit of its nationalist goal that does not present a threat beyond the countries that include traditional Kurdish regions, unlike ISIS operates globally, inspiring or directing terrorist attacks in numerous countries far from the Middle East.

"The question now is what the USA can do to limit the damage to its relations with Turkey and how far the Turks will go in demonstrating their displeasure", said Howard Eissenstat, an associate professor at S.t Lawrence University in NY.

"The Turks see this as a crisis in the relationship", said Jonathan Schanzer at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Our only hope is that Erdoğan makes it up with Trump by then.

Ankara considers the YPG to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is listed as a terror group in Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

The SDF, a Kurdish-led militia alliance that has the air cover of the global coalition and the support of U.S. special forces, began "Operation Wrath of Euphrates" on November 6 to expel the Islamic State (IS) terror organisation from the province of al-Raqqa and its homonymous capital.

Erdogan has responded to the arms announcement with typical bellicosity, raising concerns he will step up attacks on anti-government Turkish Kurds. Gulen is a cleric and one-time ally of Erdogan who now stands accused of being behind much of the domestic opposition to the Turkish president's rule, including the attempted coup a year ago. Turkey, along with the USA and Europe, lists the party, known as the PKK, as a terrorist organization. He is due to meet Trump in Washington on Tuesday.

The possible worsening of relations between Turkey and the United States following the countries of the European Union can strengthen patriotism and nationalist sentiments not only among Erdogan's supporters, but also among the leftist political forces, the anti-American sentiment among whom sometimes is off the charts, and will bring it closer to Russian Federation.


"The French President expressed his great interest in the struggle of the Kurds against terrorism in order to consolidate democracy, brotherhood of peoples and human values and stressed his friendship with the Kurdish people". "We can't allow this alliance to be taken over by policies against Turkey".

A former ally of Erdogan's, Gulen now stands accused of forming a terrorist organization to infiltrate the Turkish state and topple his government in last July's unsuccessful coup attempt.

Now, the American leader may try to cash in.

Once the terrorists are defeated, the U.S. can turn to longer-term issues such as patching up relations with Erdogan, as well as reaching some sort of peace deal involving protected, autonomous zones for US-supported factions and, eventually, the end of President Bashar al-Assad's murderous reign. The SDF was nurtured and mentored by the US military. Last month, the Turkish military bombed Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq, in one case with American forces only about six miles (10 kilometers) away. The U.S., whose forces are sometimes embedded with the Kurds, has much to fear.

However, regardless of what Trump might say on the issue, whether Gulen can be extradited depends not on the presidency, but on the United States judicial system.

Raqqa is almost isolated, Davis said, noting the bridges that cross the Euphrates River have been disabled. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

Be Civil - It's OK to have a difference in opinion but there's no need to be a jerk.

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