A senior US official visited northern Syria at the weekend to assess progress in the fight against Islamic State, in what appeared to be the first declared visit to Syrian territory for several years by an official from U.S. President Barack Obama's administration.
The Syrian Kurds have established control over wide areas of northern Syria since the eruption of the country's war in 2011, and their YPG militia has become a major partner in the US-led coalition against Islamic State.
The trip by Brett McGurk, the US envoy to the coalition against Islamic State, may anger neighboring Turkey which is alarmed by the growing sway of Syria's Kurds, fearing it could fuel separatist sentiment among its own Kurdish population.
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