February 22, 2017 / 8:39 AM / 5 months ago

Turkey sees change in U.S. stance towards operation in Syria's Raqqa - defence minister

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Turkey's Defence Minister Fikri Isik answers a question during an interview with Reuters in Ankara, Turkey, August 5, 2016.Tumay Berkin/Files

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's defence minister said on Wednesday there had been a slight change in the stance of the United States towards an operation on Syria's Raqqa and the role of a Syrian Kurdish militia as a result of Turkey's persistence on the matter.

In an interview with broadcaster NTV, Defence Minister Fikri Isik also said Turkey had once again spoken with U.S. officials on the withdrawal of the Syrian Kurdish YPG from Syria's Manbij. He said Turkey's persistence on the matter continued.

Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the PKK militant group, which has waged a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state and is considered a terrorist organisation by Ankara, the United States and the European Union.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by David Dolan

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