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Army chiefs of Turkey, Russia, US discuss deconfliction measures in Syria

As the ultraconservative Sunni Muslim group has lost territory, however, the opposing powers vying for control in Syria have continued to shift loyalties and broker deals in an attempt to increase their influence over the country, which fell into civil war when a series of anti-government protests in 2011 transformed into an armed insurgency.

Ankara has conducted a military campaign inside Syria since late August, backing Syrian opposition fighters and recapturing from IS several towns near its border.

Top commanders of Turkey, the United States and Russian Federation met in southern Antalya province of Turkey and discussed deconfliction measures in Syria.

"Our hearts are broken by this turn of events, which comes after five years of cooperation with the government of Turkey and other partners", spokeswoman Christine Bragale said in a statement early Wednesday morning Turkish time.

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Both Moscow and Washington confirmed the three-way talks in Antalya.

Turkey, Russia, and the United States are all fighting the IS group, though they support different sides in the Syrian conflict.

One of the points of friction between the three military officials is the operation against the city of Raqqa, capital of the so-called Islamic state caliphate (IS) in northern Syria, in which Turkey does not want Kurdish Forces of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its militia to participate; the Popular Protection Units (YPG), considered by Ankara terrorist organizations. The larger Turkish goal has been to prevent US -backed Syrian Kurds, whom Turkey considers terrorists, from expanding their control over the border region.

Oh, and there are Russian, U.S., Syrian and Turkish jets flying around throughout all of this. Now, faced with Turkey, the two powers appear to have taken a tactical joint stance.

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The top generals from Turkey, the United States and Russian Federation met Tuesday in Turkey to discuss mutual concerns about military operations in northern Syria.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is meeting with his Russian and Turkish counterparts here today to discuss the situation in northern Syria. But that area would include the town of Manbij, taken from the Islamic State last summer, with USA assistance, by the joint Kurdish and Arab Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF. US forces were less than five miles away at the time.

The Kurds don't like ISIS and the Turkish-backed troops.

The U.S. has moved 500 soldiers to the outskirts of Manbij, according to Ilnur Cevik, chief adviser to Erdogan.

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It added that the leaders will exchange views on regional and worldwide issues, particularly Syria.



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