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US, Turkish military chiefs discuss Syria, cooperation

The U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and chief of the Turkish General Staff discussed Syria and cooperation between the two nations, a Pentagon spokeswoman said on Oct. 10.

Gen. Mark Milley spoke with Gen. Yaşar Güler on Oct. 9 over the phone, the day Turkey launched its third military operation against the YPG, the Syrian affiliate of the PKK terror group, Col. DeDe Halfhill said in a statement.

“The two leaders discussed the security situation in Syria and the importance of U.S.-Turkish cooperation in the region,” she said.

The statement also said both nations “enjoy a strong and continuous military-to-military relationship as key members of the NATO alliance.”

Trump announced on Oct. 6 the pullback of U.S. forces ahead of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring, a move that has drawn stiff resistance from Capitol Hill.

Turkey launched the operation to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist elements and to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria’s territorial integrity.

The U.S.-backed SDF, a group dominated by the YPG, has been controlling some 28 percent of the Syrian territories, including the most of the 911-kilometer-long Syria-Turkey border. Turkey deems the YPG the Syrian offshoot of the illegal PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization also by the United States and the EU.

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