Obama discusses ISIS war in Iraq and Syria with Turkish president

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – US President Barack Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the war against ISIS in both Iraq and Syria and agreed to fight the group together as well as prevent the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) from establishing a foothold in northern Iraq, a Turkish presidency statement said.

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“Obama noted the need for close coordination between the United States and Turkey to build on these successes and to apply sustained pressure on ISIL in Syria to reduce threats to the United States, Turkey, and elsewhere,” said the statement, quoted by AFP and referring to ISIS by an alternative acronym.

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Obama called for more dialogue on “the appropriate level and form of Turkey’s participation in the counter-ISIL coalition’s effort in Iraq.”

Iraq is opposed to any Turkish participation in the ongoing Mosul operation and generally opposes Turkey’s deployment of troops and heavy weapons to its camp in Bashiqa, northeast of Mosul.

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The statement also said that both Obama and Erdogan agreed on their “strong support for the territorial integrity of Iraq.”

Wednesday’s phone call lasted for more than one hour.