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Obama Discusses Syrian Security Issues With Turkey's Erdogan

  • VOA News

A woman looks through a damaged window in her home, close to the site of Wednesday's suicide bomb attack in Ankara, Turkey, Feb. 19, 2016.

A woman looks through a damaged window in her home, close to the site of Wednesday's suicide bomb attack in Ankara, Turkey, Feb. 19, 2016.

President Barack Obama called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday to offer condolences for the terrorist bombing that killed 28 people in Ankara this week.

The White House said the two leaders discussed the security situation in Syria and the need for cooperation between the U.S. and Turkey. A spokesman said more details on the call would be released later in the day.

Earlier, Erdogan said he would raise the issue of what he called U.S.-supplied weapons being used against civilians by the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG, which has been blamed for the suicide bombing. The United States has said it does not consider the YPG a terrorist group and that it is a useful ally in the fight against Islamic State.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Friday that the U.S. had not supplied weapons of any kind to the YPG, adding, "We have also seen no evidence to substantiate the claim that the YPG is somehow smuggling U.S. weapons to the PKK."

Ankara considers both the YPG and the PKK, a Kurdish rebel group, to be terrorist organizations.

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