Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday that cooperating with the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in a potential offensive to retake the Islamic State-controlled city of Raqqa would endanger the future of Syria. Turkey views the YPG, which has enjoyed U.S. backing in the fight against Islamic State in northern Syria, as a hostile force with deep links to Kurdish militants who have fought a three-decade insurgency on Turkish soil. Cavusoglu said some YPG elements still remained in the Syrian city of Manbij west of the Euphrates river, despite Ankara's repeated warnings that they should withdraw and U.S. assurances they would do so.
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) called on Tuesday for sick and wounded people in the embattled eastern part of the Syrian city of Aleppo to be evacuated through safe corridors for treatment. A massive Russian-backed assault is under way on the besieged rebel-held sector of Aleppo, where the WHO said only 35 doctors remained to care for at least 250,000 people. "WHO is calling for the immediate establishment of humanitarian routes to evacuate sick and wounded from the eastern part of the city," WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told a news briefing in Geneva.
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Pro-Syrian government forces attacked rebel-held areas of Aleppo on four fronts on Tuesday in their biggest ground assault since the military launched an offensive to take back the whole city last week, a senior Syrian rebel official told Reuters. Separately, an Iraqi militia commander fighting in support of the government told Reuters a large army force, spearheaded by an elite unit known as the Nimr, or Tiger Forces, had started to move in armored vehicles and tanks for an attack on rebel-held districts of eastern Aleppo. (Reporting by Tom Perry and Laila Bassam)