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US, Turkey defense chiefs discuss anti-IS action

October 09, 2015, 8:59 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

Secretary Carter and Minister Gonul deliberated on ways to enhance the counter-IS fight and ongoing efforts to better secure Turkey’s southern border, including against the transit of foreign fighters

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WASHINGTON, October 9. /TASS/. US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter met in Brussels on Thursday with Turkey’s Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul to discuss issues of combating the Islamic State (IS or ISIL) terrorist organization, the Pentagon press service reported.

"Secretary of Defense Ash Carter met with Turkish Minister of Defense Vecdi Gonul today on the sidelines of the NATO Defense Ministerial in Brussels, Belgium. Echoing the earlier statement of the North Atlantic Council, Secretary Carter reaffirmed the United States’ and NATO’s steadfast commitment to Turkey’s security following Russia’s recent incursions into Turkish air space," the press service said.

"They also discussed Turkey’s contributions to the counter-ISIL coalition, and Secretary Carter thanked Minister Gonul for hosting US aircraft flying counter-ISIL missions at Incirlikm," the Pentagon reported.

"Secretary Carter and Minister Gonul further deliberated on ways to enhance the counter-ISIL fight and ongoing efforts to better secure Turkey’s southern border, including against the transit of foreign fighters," the release says.

Previously, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that Russia’s fighter violated the country’s airspace on October 3. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that a Russian military aircraft made an incursion into Turkey’s airspace, explaining this incident by the bad weather conditions.

"On Saturday, October 3, completing a planned combat mission, making a manoeuvre over mountain-woody terrain for returning to the Hmeimim airfield, the Russian military plane Su-30 briefly entered Turkey’s airspace for just several seconds," Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said at a briefing.

Russia’s air and space forces started delivering daytime pinpoint strikes against facilities of the Islamic State terrorist group, outlawed in Russia, on September 30. The air group in Syria incorporates more than 50 planes and helicopters, including Sukhoi-24M, Sukhoi-25, and multi-functional Sukhoi-34. On Wednesday, four ships of the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla launched 26 Kalibr cruise missiles on terrorists’ facilities in Syria. The Russian Defence Ministry said that all the missiles hit the assigned targets with high strike accuracy — error margin not exceeding 3 meters.

Earlier on Thursday, CNN citing sources said that several Russian missiles had allegedly crashed in Iran.

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