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Pentagon chief urges Turkey to stay focused on fighting Islamic State

BRUSSELS - US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met his Turkish counterpart on the sidelines of a NATO meeting and called on Ankara to remain focused on fighting Islamic State militants in Syria, a Pentagon statement on Thursday said.

"(Mattis) called for a renewed focus on the campaign to defeat ISIS, and to preventing any vestige of the terrorist organization from reconstituting in Syria," the statement said, using an acronym for Islamic State. The meeting took place on Wednesday, it added.

Turkey last month launched a military incursion into the Kurdish-held Afrin region of Syria to sweep the Kurdish YPG militia away from its southern border zone.

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