A+ A-

US "confident" coalition agreed on Mosul, Raqqah timelines

WASHINGTON, Oct 31 (KUNA) -- The US military is "confident" that the global coalition will be "on the same page" in regards to the timings of the offensives on the so-caled Islamic State group in Mosul, Iraq. and Raqqah, Syria.
"I'm confident that and I believe the (Defense) secretary's confident that the coalition will all be on the same page in terms of executing this plan going forward," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.
Last week, US Defence Secretary Ash Carter told NBC News the Raqqah offensive would start "in a few weeks," which means that it would overlap with the ongoing Mosul operation.
However, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said after a cabinet meeting in Ankara earlier on Monday that it would "be the correct thing" for the attack on Raqqah to start after the Mosul operation ends.
"We'll continue to work closely with our Turkish partners who continue to play a very important role," said Cook, underlining that the coalition's plan will be "in accordance with the timelines that best fit the coalition effort.
"I'm confident we'll have the support of the coalition in full," he added.
"While they're feeling the heat in Mosul, they're also feeling the heat in Syria," he said, in an apparent reference to IS.
Cook conceded, however, that the Secretary was discussing the matter with Turkish officials. Carter "had some of these conversations when he was in Turkey just the other day," said the spokesman.
"I would not suggest to you that we're not on the same page as Turkey at this point. This is an ongoing conversation," he said in reference to Carter's recent talks with Turkey's president, the prime minister and its defence minister.
"We continue to talk on a regular basis with the Turkish leadership about the best approach to addressing the fight for Raqqah," said Cook.
He said these talks about the "timelines, (and) the roles coalition members can play" would be held "in private" with Turkish officials. (end) sd.bs