Kurdish-led forces advance on IS-held Raqqa, say activists

Trump's deal-making skills will be put to the test as he works to assure Erdogan that the decision to arm Kurdish fighters in Syria will not result in weapons falling into the wrong hands.

"This is an vast milestone", Ernst says.

Erdogan sent several senior officials, including his military and intelligence chiefs, to Washington for preparatory talks but the Turkish delegation failed to prevent the USA administration's decision to directly arm the YPG.

The United States and Turkey were on the same page when chose to wage a war against ISIS in Syria; however, Turkey's new involvement inside Syria and disagreement with the Kurdish militia may bring about a change in the Middle East dilemma.

The Turkish authorities sent an official request to the US Department of Justice for extradition of Gulen, who lives in Philadelphia. "We are in contact and our position is open and, I hope, will be understood by our Turkish partners", he said.

A news website linked to Jordan's military says the explosion took place at a sheep market in the western area of the Rukban camp. This order changes that, and in so doing, broadens and deepens the relationship of the US military with the SDF in a way that cuts Turkey out of the battle for Raqqa, and subsequent battles to come against ISIS throughout eastern Syria.

Even so, Turkey is a part of the US -led coalition fighting Islamic State, and USA jets conduct airstrikes against the group from Turkey's Incirlik Air Base.

"The French President expressed his great interest in the struggle of the Kurds against terrorism in order to consolidate democracy, brotherhood of peoples and human values and stressed his friendship with the Kurdish people".

This frame grab from video provided by The Syrian Democratic.

"If we engage the forces in the Middle East, that means there's less American boots on the ground there and that's exactly what we want", Ernst says. The military campaign to retake the city ISIS has held since 2013, though, is expected to last for weeks.

Turkey rightly considers the group an offshoot of the revolutionary, Communist-inspired Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, which has carried out a 30-year-long civil war in Turkey and has always been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, NATO and the United States. Analysts doubt that Trump and Erdogan can come to an agreement during their talks at the White House. Turkey, long a bulwark against expansion by the old Soviet Union, is now looking toward Iran and Russian Federation for cooperation.

The French government developed good relations with the PYD and the People's Protection Units (YPG) since the beginning of the fight in Kobani in 2014. Although the two countries are North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies since 1952, the relationship has never been a fully harmonious one, requiring compromises and tolerance for behavior the other party opposed, or at least did not support (for example, the invasion of Cyprus in 1974 by Turkey; the invasion of Iraq in 2003 by the U.S.).

Washington is concerned by rising anti-Americanism in Turkey that Erdogan's government has tolerated since the July coup attempt.

But Erdogan will now have to untangle a web of problems, which also include the arrest in the United States of Turkish Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab and the chief executive of Halkbank Mehmet Hakan Atilla on charges of helping Iran violate sanctions.

It's not clear, however, whether Erdogan expects to be able to dissuade Trump during their meeting, and what action he is prepared to take if the USA goes ahead with the policy.

It was unclear whether Erdogan would be mollified by USA offers to compensate for Ankara's acceptance of the YPG role in the battle for Raqqa.

He will undoubtedly ask for his Turkish rival, Fethullah Gulen, living in Pennsylvania, to be turned over. Turkey has repeatedly demanded his extradition, which the Obama administration refused.

Erdogan is sure to bring up this matter in Washington, and he is a man that Trump seems to respect.

  • Jack Mann