August 29, 2016 / 7:31 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. Defense Secretary calls on Turkey not to target Syria rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter called on Turkey to stay focused on fighting Islamic State militants and not to target Kurdish elements of Syrian rebels.

“We have called upon Turkey... to stay focused on the fight against ISIL and not to engage Syrian Defense Forces, and we’ve had a number of contacts over the last several days,” Carter said in a media briefing on Monday, using an Arab acronym for Islamic State.

Carter said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, had spoken with his Turkish counterpart on Sunday.

Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart; Editing by Bill Rigby

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