Europe

Mattis cites good talks with Turkey on fighting IS in Syria

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is citing useful discussions with Turkey as the countries try to work out differences over a U.S. alliance with Syrian Kurds in fighting Islamic State militants.

The discussions occurred as U.S.-backed forces moves closer to IS' Syrian headquarters in Raqqa.

Speaking Tuesday in Denmark, Mattis says the U.S. and Turkey don't necessarily agree on the "path forward" but are "going to sort it out."

He spoke after meeting with officials from more than a dozen nations also fighting IS. Basat Ozturk, a senior Turkish defense official, participated.

Mattis presented an optimistic tone, despite long-simmering U.S.-Turkish tension. He said the U.S. wants to work alongside the Turks to battle IS.

The dispute focuses on U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds, who've most effectively fought IS in northern and eastern Syria.