US, Turkish Presidents Agree To Strengthen Cooperation Against IS: White House
WASHINGTON, October 19 (RIA Novosti) – US President Barack Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a telephone conversation agreed to strengthen cooperation against the Islamic State (IS) militant group.
“The two leaders pledged to continue to work closely together to strengthen cooperation against ISIL [IS],” the statement on official White House’s website reads.
Obama also expressed appreciation “for Turkey hosting over a million refugees, including thousands from Kobani”.
The US tries to cooperate with Syrian Kurds in other to fight together against IS, which for the past several weeks has besieged Kobani, one of the largest towns in the Kurdish region of Syria bordering Turkey.
The US calls on Turkey to help Kurds, too, however Ankara refrains from active involvement in the conflict amid its continuing disagreements with the local Kurds.
The Islamic State is a Sunni extremist group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched an offensive in Iraq, seizing vast areas in both countries and announcing the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control.
In September, Washington announced the formation of an international coalition to fight extremists and extended its airstrikes against the militants into Syria, while continuing strikes against the group’s targets in Iraq.