MESOP DISCOVERING : WHO CONQUERS RAQQA WITH WHOM ? WATCH SOURCES: Ashton Carter – PKK sources – Ragip Soylu and others
6 March 2017 – Murat Yesiltas, an expert at the pro-government think tank SETA in Turkey told The Daily Beast that the operation probably has not won Turkish backing at this point.
“Off course not,” he said, “because Turkey knows very well that the SDF is an artificial project which means the real actor behind the SDF is PKK/YPG [Kurdistan Workers Party]. Therefore I don’t think Turkey will support the operation.”
However, Ragıp Soylu, the Washington-based correspondent for the Daily Sabah believes that Turkey could accept the operation. “My understanding is Turkey won’t make a big problem out of Raqqa operation unless they [the YPG] enter the city. The signals coming out of Turkish-American bilateral meetings show that Turkey is somewhat okay with the isolation of Raqqa.”
“We’ll continue to talk with Turkey about its role in the eventual seizure of Raqqa, but we’re proceeding now with the operation according to our plan,” U.S. Defens Secretary Ash Carter said last week during a news conference.
U.S. officials say Turkey was informed about the operation.
“Everything we do with the SDF is shared with the Turks beforehand,” a coalition official said. “We always seek to make our SDF operations palatable to them and explain why we are doing Operation X.”