106th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra2237241231929448 Tamil Nadu118594711161636 Delhi102831742173165 Gujarat37636267441978 Uttar Pradesh2996819627313 Telangana2761216287313 Karnataka2681511100417 West Bengal2383715790804 Rajasthan2140416575472 Andhra Pradesh211979745252 Haryana1799913645279 Madhya Pradesh1562711768622 Bihar12525933898 Assam12523833016 Odisha10097670354 Jammu and Kashmir89315399143 Punjab67494554175 Kerala5895345228 Chhatisgarh3415272814 Uttarakhand3230262143 Jharkhand3018210422 Goa190311568 Tripura171612481 Manipur14307710 Himachal Pradesh107876410 Puducherry104351714 Nagaland6443030 Chandigarh4924017 Arunachal Pradesh270922 Mizoram1971390 Sikkim125650 Meghalaya94432
World Europe 24 Jan 2016 Prepared for militar ...

Prepared for military solution against ISIS in Syria, says US

Published Jan 24, 2016, 10:30 am IST
Updated Jan 24, 2016, 10:30 am IST
Latest round of Syria peace talks were at risk of being delayed because of a dispute over who will comprise the opposition delegation.
US Vice President Joe Biden poses for photographers with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prior to their meeting at Yildiz Mabeyn Palace in Istanbul. (Photo: AP)
 US Vice President Joe Biden poses for photographers with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prior to their meeting at Yildiz Mabeyn Palace in Istanbul. (Photo: AP)

Istanbul: US Vice President Joe Biden said on Saturday that the United States and Turkey were prepared for a military solution against ISIS in Syria should the Syrian government and rebels fail to reach a political settlement.

The latest round of Syria peace talks are planned to begin on Monday in Geneva but were at risk of being delayed partly because of a dispute over who will comprise the opposition delegation.


Syrian armed rebel groups said on Saturday they held the Syrian government and Russia responsible for any failure of peace talks to end the country's civil war, even before negotiations were due to start.

"We do know it would better if we can reach a political solution but we are prepared, if that's not possible, to have a military solution to this operation in taking out Daesh," Biden said at a news conference after a meeting with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Daesh is the pejorative Arabic acronym for ISIS terrorists who hold parts of Syria.

A US official later clarified that Biden was talking about a military solution to ISIS, not Syria as a whole.

The Saudi-backed Syrian opposition ruled out even indirect negotiations unless Damascus took steps including a halt to Russian air strikes.

Biden said he and Davutoglu also discussed how the two NATO allies could further support Sunni Arab rebel forces fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

The United States has sent dozens of special forces soldiers to help rebels fighting ISIS in Syria although the troops are not intended for front line combat.

Along with its allies Washington is also conducting air strikes against ISIS militants who hold large chunks of Syria and Iraq and support opposition fighters battling the group.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday he was confident Syria peace talks would proceed, after he held talks with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in Saudi Arabia.

Disagreement Over Syrian Kurdish Group

Saleh Muslim, co-chair of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), the main Kurdish political grouping in Syria, said on Friday the Syria peace talks would fail if Syrian Kurds are not represented.

While the United States draws a distinction between PYD, whose fighters it supports, and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey, Davutoglu reiterated the Turkish position that the PYD's military wing is part of and supported by the PKK.

The PYD's military wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG) has seized swathes of Syria from ISIS with the help of US-led strikes and declared it an autonomous administration, to Ankara's chagrin.

Davutoglu said on Saturday the YPG had become an increasing threat to Turkey. According to local media, on the way to Turkey from Davos, he also told reporters Ankara would strike YPG in northern Syria just like it hits PKK targets in northern Iraq.

Ankara has fought a decades-long insurgency against Kurdish PKK separatists which in July reignited into a violent confrontation with Turkish security forces.

Biden strongly criticised the PKK which is designated a terrorist organisation by the United States, the European Union and Turkey.

In his speech following talks, Davutoglu also reiterated the Turkey's respect for the territorial unity of Iraq, where it deployed troops despite Baghdad's objections.

The prime minister's office later released a statement saying the US and Turkey had reconciled on the question of Bashiqa camp in Iraq, where the Turkish troops are stationed.

Biden went on to meet with President Tayyip Erdogan, but an expected joint statement did not go ahead.