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Erdogan: Turkey ready to join US in capturing Syrian city from ISIS

“Obama wants to do some things together concerning Raqqa in particular,” Turkish President said

Published: Updated:

US President Barack Obama floated the idea of joint action with Turkey to capture the Syrian city of Raqqa from ISIS, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in remarks published on Wednesday. Ankara would not object, Erdogan said.

Turkey launched an incursion into northern Syria last month with the stated aims of clearing ISIS from its border and preventing the Kurdish YPG militia expanding into new territory. Speaking to reporters on his plane back from the G20 summit in China on Monday, Erdogan said Turkey’s military was ready to join any offensive on Raqqa, ISIS's de facto capital.

“Obama wants to do some things together concerning Raqqa in particular,” Erdogan said in comments published by Hurriyet newspaper, following meetings in China with Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders.

“We stated that would not be a problem from our perspective. We said, ‘Let our soldiers come together, whatever is necessary will be done’,” Erdogan said. Any Turkish role would have to be determined in further talks, he said.

“But at this stage we have to show our presence in the region. We do not have the chance to take a backward step. If we take a backward step terror groups like Daesh, PKK, PYD and YPG will settle there,” he said.