Carter Calls on Turkey to ‘Stay Focused’ on Islamic State

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has called on Turkey to “stay focused” on the fight against Islamic State and not to engage with U.S.-allied Kurdish forces also battling the terror group in Syria.


The Turkish military and its Syrian rebel allies are in the sixth day of a campaign designed to drive IS militants and Kurdish YPG members, who are part of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, out of the Syria-Turkey border town of Jarablus and its surrounding areas.


“The United States was very supportive, and is very supportive of their [Turkey’s] general counter-ISIL activities and everything they did to secure the area between the border and Jarablus and then westward, but not south of Jarablus,” Carter told reporters Monday at the Pentagon, using an acronym for Islamic State.


Kurdish forces recently helped push Islamic State militants out of the Syrian city of Manbij, about 40 kilometers south of Jarablus and about 30 kilometers west of the Euphrates River.


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