U.S.' Hagel, Turkey's Yilmaz discuss fight against ISIL
U.S. Central Command and European Command teams will visit Turkey next week after it agrees to equip and train moderate Syrian rebels

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel called his Turkish counterpart, Ismet Yilmaz, on Sunday to discuss Turkey’s commitment to coalition efforts against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terror group.

According to the Pentagon Press Secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, the two leaders focused their discussion on the regional threat posed by ISIL and the security situation in both Iraq and Syria.

Secretary Hagel thanked Minister Yilmaz for Turkey's willingness to contribute to coalition efforts.

These contributions include hosting and conducting training for moderate Syrian opposition forces, Kirby said in a statement.

"He (Hagel) noted Turkey's expertise in this area and the responsible manner in which Turkey is handling the other challenges this struggle has placed upon the country, not least in terms of refugees and border security,” Kirby added.

The two leaders stressed the need to continue taking a comprehensive and strategic approach to the threat posed by ISIL and other extremist groups.

Both officials also agreed that the Assad regime had, through its own brutality, fostered the current crisis and long ago surrendered any legitimacy to govern Syria.

In light of Turkey's agreement to contribute to the equipment and training of moderate Syrian opposition forces inside its borders, a joint U.S. Central Command and European Command team will pay the country a visit next week.

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Last Modified: 2014-10-14 08:37:32
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