US, Turkey at sharp odds on Kurds’ role against ISIS in Iraq, Syria

US army chief Gen. Joseph Dunford and Turkish chief of general staff Hulusi Akar failed to iron out their differences over the participation of Kurdish forces in anti-ISIS operations in Syria and Iraq when they met in Ankara Sunday, DEBKAfile reports. According to an official statement, they discussed joint strategies shortly after US-backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) announced a plan to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa from the Islamic State. Our sources report a US attempt to prevent the Turkish army going after Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria. The US-Turkish failure to come to terms on this could lead to a Turkish-Kurdish flare-up of hostilities that would upend the offensives against ISIS in both countries.
Our sources also disclose that the Turkish army chief demanded from the Americans detailed maps delineating the sectors where the Kurdish sectors were deployed, as well as US guarantees against the rise of an independent Kurdish state in Syria or a linkup between Kurdish territory in Syria with the autonomous KRG in Iraq.

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