US and Turkish officials met at the Pentagon to discuss military cooperation as well as the support to Kurdish allies in Syria.
In a meeting on Friday, US acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar discussed the defense relationship between Turkey and the United States. They also expressed their commitment to continued cooperation to ensure the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria.
“Minister Akar and Acting Secretary Shanahan discussed a broad range of issues, including bilateral defense cooperation matters, operations to defeat DAESH [ISIS] in Syria and Turkey’s concern with U.S. support of the PYD, the Syrian branch of the PKK,” a statement by the Turkish Defence Ministry said.
Akar stressed that Turkey will continue fighting ISIS and Kurdish fighters in Syria, considered by Ankara as affiliates to PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party).
Syrian Kurds, supported by the US, have been playing a decisive role in defeating ISIS.
Ankara previously pledged to remove the Kurdish fighters from northern territories of Syria to save its national security.