• US-Turkish militaries to meet on IS threat

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    WASHINGTON: A joint US-Turkish military team will meet next week in Ankara to discuss the fight against Islamic militants after Washington Thursday pressed Turkey to join a US-led coalition.

    Two top US envoys met Thursday in Ankara with Turkish leaders seeking to win their NATO ally’s support to defeat the Islamic State (IS) group, which has seized a swath of territory in Iraq and Syria.

    Although State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not outline any specific commitments made by Turkey, she said the two countries held “detailed and constructive talks.”

    Retired general John Allen and US pointman on Iraq, Brett McGurk, had “discussed several measures to advance the military line of effort against ISIL,” Psaki said.

    She highlighted that “a joint military planning team will visit Ankara early next week to follow up in military-to-military channels.”

    “Both sides also agreed that we will continue a dynamic and deepening bilateral consultation process across the multiple lines of effort against ISIL,” which included military support as well as battling foreign fighters and choking off funds to IS.

    The two US officials had “emphasized that urgent steps are immediately required to degrade ISIL’s military capabilities and ongoing ability to threaten the region,” Psaki said in a statement.

    AFP

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