Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. (Yasin Bulbul/Pool photo via AP)
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Fighting between Turkey and Kurdish militias in northern Syria is complicating plans to drive their mutual enemy Daesh (ISIS) from its Syrian capital Raqqa, an operation U.S. officials have said may start within weeks.For its part, Ankara says the Kurds' main militia should not be involved at all.U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he was looking for ways Turkey could take part in the Raqqa operation and praised its intervention in Syria so far for taking territory from Daesh.The PYD party and YPG militia in Syria, and the PKK in Turkey, deny that they share direct military or political links, but they are members of a larger alliance of Kurdish groups that promotes the ideology of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.Turkey has repeatedly insisted that the YPG and PYD should quit Manbij, something that both they and the United States have said has already happened.If it does take Al-Bab, ending Kurdish hopes of uniting Rojava, as Kurds call northern Syria, and then strikes at Manbij, where Kurdish fighters died in the battle against Daesh in August, it could prompt a big escalation.
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