US defense chief voices commitment to Turkey's security

Mattis reiterates ‘US commitment to protecting our NATO ally’, in meeting with Yildirim, Pentagon says

US defense chief voices commitment to Turkey's security

World Bulletin / News Desk

Defense Secretary James Mattis and Turkish premier Binali Yildirim discussed a host of security issues Thursday during a bilateral meeting in London, according to the Pentagon.

Mattis "reiterated U.S. commitment to protecting our NATO ally", spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement.

"Both leaders affirmed their support for peace and stability in both Iraq and Syria," she added.

The meeting closely follows the U.S. announcement that it would begin to directly arm "Kurdish elements" of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), its preferred partner in the ground war against Daesh in northern Syria.

The SDF is a multiethnic group spearheaded by the YPG, an organization Ankara considers the Syrian affiliate of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization in Turkey, the U.S., and EU.

Washington has relied heavily on the YPG in its campaign against Daesh but until recently had not directly armed the group as a matter of policy.

The recent shift has angered Ankara which views the change as a threat to its security.

The PKK resumed a 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015.

Last Mod: 11 Mayıs 2017, 17:16
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