October 26, 2016 / 11:28 AM / 3 years ago

Turkey says Kurdish militia should not be in Syrian Raqqa operation

A Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG) carries his weapon as he walks at the faculty of economics where a defaced picture of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is seen in the background, in the Ghwairan neighborhood of Hasaka, Syria, August 22, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said

ANKARA (Reuters) - A planned operation to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State should be carried out by local forces and the Kurdish YPG militia should not be included, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.

The United States regards the YPG as an ally in its fight against Islamic State, but Turkey regards it as a terrorist organization because of its links with Kurdish militants fighting a three-decade insurgency in Turkey.

Cavusoglu was speaking at a news conference in Ankara.

Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz and Humeyra Pamuk; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall

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