Turkey is likely to end its military operation in Syria after the liberation of al Bab from Daesh, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Friday.
"Most probably, the Operation Euphrates Shield will end after al Bab is liberated,” he said in an interview with a local news channel.
TRT World's IoIo Ap Dafydd has more details from Gaziantep.
Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield was launched on August 24, 2017 with the aim of ridding its borders of the presence of terrorist groups including DAESH and the YPG, a Syrian-offshoot of the PKK, which the US and Ankara designate as a terrorist group.
Since November, the operation has focused on taking al Bab, located 30 kilometres (19 miles) south of the Turkish border.
Talking about Raqqa, Kurtulmus said, “Raqqa is another issue. Raqqa is not something that threatens Turkey’s borders.”
But if they let the PYD move into Raqqa, then it will be a national security matter for Turkey.
The Syrian city of Raqqa is the self-proclaimed capital of Daesh.
Washington's reliance on the YPG, the Syrian affiliate of the PKK, has long irked Ankara and has been a major strain on relations between the two NATO allies.