Trump speaks with Turkey's Erdogan amid tensions in Syria

Trump speaks with Turkey's Erdogan amid tensions in Syria
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President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE spoke Thursday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as the two countries attempt to negotiate differences over how to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The two leaders discussed the importance of strong relations between the U.S. and Turkey, and committed to “continue efforts to intensify cooperation on shared strategic challenges,” according to a White House readout of their phone call.

The U.S. said Monday it is “deeply concerned” over reports that Turkish military forces seized the city of Afrin, Syria, from Kurdish forces. Erdoğan said Turkey will push forward with its own offensive in northern Syria.


Its strategy puts it at odds with the U.S., which has backed the Kurdish forces in Syria in their fight against ISIS. Turkey considers the Kurdish groups to be terrorists.

The Pentagon said it had been in "close contact" with Turkey to discuss how to move forward in the fight against ISIS. 

Thursday’s phone call came just hours after charges were dropped against 11 members of Erdoğan's security detail who were accused of beating protesters in Washington, D.C., last year.

Chaos broke out last May after roughly two dozen protesters gathered near the Turkish Embassy to protest Erdoğan's policies during his visit to Washington. The embassy claimed the security detail was acting in “self-defense," while local police said the protesters were demonstrating peacefully.

Police originally charged 16 people in connection with the incident.