>> Syrian rebels and Turkish Special Forces have made big progress in the fight against Islamic State in Northern Syria, Turkey's foreign minister said, Wednesday. Speaking in Ankara, Mevlut Cavusoglu said the next target would be Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic State.>> The Al-Bab operation must be completed immediately in the period ahead.
In recent days, as you know, our Special Forces and the Free Syrian Army have made serious progress. Air support from coalition forces and support from Russia have contributed greatly to our operation against Islamic State. We want to complete this operation as soon as possible.>>
> Turkey's military says Syrian rebels have seized control of key hills around the Islamic State controlled town of Al-Bab.
It said that 58 militants were killed in the fighting. Al-Bab has been a major target of the Turkish offensive in northern Syria, launched last August to drive IS away from the border. Earlier, Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan spoke to his US counterpart, Donald Trump. The two agreed to join forces against IS, but there's one big stumbling block.
Washington backs the Kurdish YPG militia, which is also fighting IS, but Ankara views the Kurdish fighters as terrorists. Reuters' Turkey bureau chief Nick Tatasil.>> The differing views on the role of the YPG, that's the Syrian Kurdish Militia, has been a sticking point in the relationship between Ankara and Washington.
It was a problem in relations between Erdogan and Obama. What the Turks are hoping is that Trump will take a different stance and that the YPG will be excluded from the operations to fight Islamic State in Raqqa. It remains far from clear whether that indeed will be the line that the United States takes.
>> President Trump has said he's committed to combating terrorism in all forms. How he plans to resolve the Kurdish question though, that's far from clear.