Pentagon: Mattis meets Turkish PM in London, days after US says it will arm Syrian Kurds

Reporting by Lucas Tomlinson

Two days after the Pentagon said it would supply arms to Syrian Kurds, whom NATO-ally Turkey considers terrorists, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met the Turkish Prime Minister on the sidelines of a conference in London Thursday, a defense department spokesperson said in a statement.

Both leaders “affirmed their support for peace and stability” in Iraq and Syria, said Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White.

It was the first face-to-face meeting between top US and Turkish officials since the Pentagon announcement.

Just a few weeks ago, Turkish jets carried out airstrikes against the US-backed Kurds in Iraq and Syria.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan is scheduled to visit the White House next week and says he will raise the issue of US support to the Syrian Kurds.

Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis met with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım today in London to discuss a range of bilateral security issues. The secretary reiterated U.S. commitment to protecting our NATO ally.  Both leaders affirmed their support for peace and stability in both Iraq and Syria.