In this file photo, Iraq's Kurdistan region president Massoud Barzani (R) receives US Defence Secretary James Mattis on August 22, 2017 in Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq. / AFP / SAFIN HAMED
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Pentagon chief Jim Mattis arrived in Ankara on Wednesday for talks with Turkish leaders expected to focus on Washington's arming of a Syrian Kurdish militia, which Turkey views as a terror group, in the fight against Daesh (ISIS).Turkey, an important NATO ally of the United States and part of the coalition against Daesh, is incensed that Washington has been arming the Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) militias in the assault on the militants' stronghold of Raqqa, in northern Syria.The SDF is currently leading the assault on Raqqa, with artillery and air support from U.S.-led coalition forces.Iranian armed forces chief General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri visited Turkey last week.
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