SANTIAGO, Chile – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the U.S. is making "considerable progress" in its negotiations with Turkey over plans to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels fighting Islamic State militants.
Hagel spoke Saturday with the region's U.S. envoy, retired Gen. John Allen, and says work continues to get other international partners involved in the training program, including those in the Middle East.
Hagel is in Santiago, Chile, for meetings with leaders.
He also says that U.S. airstrikes have made progress against the Islamic extremists trying to take control of the Syrian border town of Kobani. But he adds that militants are still threatening the town and occupying some outskirts.
He gave a more upbeat assessment for Baghdad, saying Iraqi security forces are in full control of the capital.