Turkish, American and Iraqi top generals discuss regional security at three-way meet
The highest ranking military generals from Turkey, the U.S. and Iraq met in a rare trilateral meeting on Dec. 14 in Ankara to discuss regional security matters and the ongoing fight against jihadist and separatist terror organizations, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has announced.
U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Joseph Votel, Commander of U.S. Forces in Europe Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti and Iraqi Chief of General Staff Gen. Osman Ghanimi were present at the meeting hosted by Turkey’s Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, the TSK said in a written statement.
Four-star generals from the three countries discussed the region’s general security situation, especially in Syria and Iraq, as well as measures needed to fight terror organizations, said the statement, without providing further details.
The U.S. Embassy in Ankara issued a statement after the meeting, stating that the “general situation in the region,” particularly in Iraq and Syria, and measures required to be taken in the fight against terror organizations were discussed at the meeting.
The meeting followed Iraq’s announcement of victory against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq and reports of progress regarding the complete elimination of the jihadist group in Syria.
The talks are believed to have focused on efforts to prevent the resurgence of the ISIL and other extremist groups in both Syria and Iraq.
The meeting was also expected to cover the cooperation between the U.S. and the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a group Ankara sees as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Turkey has urged the U.S. to take back any heavy weapons given to the YPG in its fight against the ISIL now that the war on terror is coming to an end.