May 9, 2017 / 9:13 PM / 3 months ago

U.S., Turkish defence chiefs talk as U.S. moves to arm Syrian Kurds

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik (R) pose during a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 15, 2017.Virginia Mayo/Pool

VILNIUS (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis spoke with his Turkish counterpart on Tuesday, the Pentagon said, after announcing that Washington would arm Kurdish fighters against Islamic State despite fierce objections from Ankara.

It was unclear how Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik responded but the Pentagon said both "affirmed their support for peace and stability in both Iraq and Syria."

Reporting by Phil Stewart; editing by Grant McCool

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