Tillerson arrives in Turkey

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Ankara, March 30 (IANS) US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday arrived in Turkey where he will hold high-level discussions on how to tackle the Islamic State (IS) terror group, officials said.

Tillerson will met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu in Ankara, Efe news reported.

The officials will discuss potential cooperative defence operations in the bid to oust the IS from their final Syrian bastion of Raqqa city.

On Tuesday, Yildirim announced that a Turkish military operation backing Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels against the IS and Kurdish militias in northern Syria — dubbed Operation Euphrates Shield — had successfully ended, but did not rule out future military manoeuvres.

Ankara has proposed a joint operation with the US against Raqqa, using branches of the FSA as it had done in Aleppo province since August 2016.

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Washington is yet to confirm whether or not it would collaborate with Turkey in the Raqqa offensive.

After Turkey, Tillerson will leave for Brussels for a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.



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