American army vehicles drive north of Manbij city, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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Turkey has lost momentum in the war for northern Syria as the United States draws on Kurdish allies in the assault on Daesh (ISIS)-held Raqqa, but Ankara is still pressing Washington for a deal that allays its fears of Kurdish ascendancy.In a swipe at Washington, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Tuesday it was unfortunate that some of Turkey's allies had chosen the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia as a partner in the fight against Daesh in Syria.Turkey's military chief this week discussed Syria with his U.S. and Russian counterparts.Ankara had hoped to advance its strategy in northern Syria by persuading Washington to abandon its Kurdish allies and switch support to Free Syrian Army rebel groups for the final assault on Raqqa – a northern Syrian city that is Daesh's de facto capital.Xelil foresaw eventual U.S. political engagement with the Syrian Kurdish groups – something Washington has largely avoided so far. In line with Turkish wishes, the PYD has been consistently left out of U.N.-led peace talks on Syria.A senior Turkish official cautioned that Turkey's intervention in Syria was not yet over.
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