Editor in Chief: Dr. Hussain Yasa Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Turkish, US, Russian Military Chiefs Discuss Syria Tensions

Turkish, US, Russian Military Chiefs Discuss Syria Tensions

BEIRUT - The top generals from Turkey, the United States and Russia met Tuesday to discuss tensions in northern Syria, where mutually suspicious forces allied with the three countries are fighting the Islamic State group.
The surprise meeting between Turkey's Gen. Hulusi Akar, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, took place in the Turkish coastal city of Antalya.
The talks, announced by Turkey, come amid rising tensions in northern Syria, where Turkish troops and allied Syrian fighters, U.S.-backed Kurdish-led forces and Russian-allied Syrian troops are fighting their way toward the IS group's de facto capital, Raqqa.
Turkey, a NATO ally, views the Kurdish group that dominates the Syria Democratic Forces as terrorists and has threatened to drive them from the northern town of Manbij, which the alliance captured from the militants last year with the aid of U.S. airstrikes. Turkey and Syria meanwhile support opposite sides in the Syrian civil war.
The U.S. has a few hundred special operations forces embedded with the SDF and wants the alliance to lead the march on Raqqa, where IS militants are believed to have planned international attacks. (AP)