Carter urges 'isolation operation' for ISIS-held Raqa

2016-10-23 18:56
US Defence Secretary Ash Carter. (Adem Altan, Pool Photo via AP)

US Defence Secretary Ash Carter. (Adem Altan, Pool Photo via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Arbil - US defence chief Ashton Carter said on Sunday that an operation to isolate the Islamic State group in Syria's Raqa should begin in conjunction with the assault on the jihadists' Iraqi bastion Mosul.

"We want to see an isolation operation begin around Raqa as soon as possible," Carter said during a visit to Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan to review an ongoing offensive to retake Mosul from ISIS.

"We are working with our partners there [in Syria] to do that," the US secretary of defence said, adding: "There will be some simultaneity to these two operations."

Iraqi forces launched a huge operation last week to retake Mosul, the last major city in Iraq under ISIS control.

The United States leads a 60-nation coalition that has provided key support in the form of thousands of air strikes, training to Iraqi forces and advisers on the ground.

The loss of Mosul would leave Raqa - the de facto capital of the jihadists' self-declared "caliphate" - the only major city still under ISIS control.

Carter said the idea of simultaneous operations against Mosul and Raqa "has been part of our planning for quite a while".

In Iraq, the coalition is allied with both federal forces and Kurdish peshmerga fighters in the Mosul battle.

But in Syria, the issue of which ground forces would be involved in an operation to retake Raqa would be far more complicated.

The United States has given support to Syrian rebels and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces who have battled ISIS. But President Bashar Assad's forces, backed by Russia and Iran, are also fighting the jihadists.

Read more on:    isis  |  iraq  |  us  |  russia  |  syria

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.