October 20, 2016 / 3:53 PM / 10 months ago

U.S. partnership with Turkey in Islamic State fight 'very strong'

A U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker aerial refueling aircraft lands at Incirlik air base in Adana, Turkey, August 10, 2015.Murad Sezer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. partnership with Turkey in countering Islamic State is "very strong," U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said at a news conference on Thursday.

"With respect to Turkey, our partnership is very strong in the counter-ISIL campaign," Carter said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

Carter made the comments after Turkish air strikes pounded a group of Kurdish fighters allied to a U.S.-backed militia in northern Syria overnight, highlighting the conflicting agendas of NATO members Ankara and Washington in an increasingly complex battlefield.

Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati

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