Turkey-Kurdish rivalry complicates push against IS in Syria's Raqqa

October 27, 2016 16:25

BEIRUT/ISTANBUL - Fighting between Turkey and Kurdish militias in northern Syria is complicating plans to drive their mutual enemy Islamic State from its Syrian capital Raqqa, an operation US officials have said may start within weeks.

Turkish jets and armor, in support of Syrian rebels, have struck Kurdish fighters in recent days as both sides compete to capture land from Islamic State that Ankara wants as a buffer zone against militants near its border.

Those clashes could foreshadow a wider battle as they also eye control over Manbij, a city northwest of Raqqa. This was taken from Islamic State in August by local fighters backed by Kurdish groups, and offers strategic control over a large area.

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