— Already Happened (@M3t4_tr0n) March 7, 2017
The heads of the Russian, Turkish, and US armed forces have met in southern Turkey in a bid to iron out tensions between rival factions fighting against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Stafff, and General Hulusi Akar, who heads the General Staff of the Turkish Armed forces, met in Antalya on Tuesday.
The meeting comes amid tensions around the northern Syrian town of Manbij, where troops from all three countries are now involved in a Mexican standoff following clashes between Turkish and Kurdish-led forces.
“There is a need for an effective coordination in the efforts to clear Syria of all terror groups because so many countries are involved there,” Binali Yildirim, the Turkish Prime Minister said.
“If we cannot establish coordination the risk of a conflict that we would not desire can emerge. That’s the real aim of the meeting,” he added.
Mr Yildirim said the meeting would continue on Wednesday.
US armoured vehicles began patrolling Manbij and surrounding villages over the weekend after a series of clashes between the US-allied military council that runs the town and Turkish-allied rebel groups.
Earlier Russian-backed Syrian government forces occupied several nearby villages after the SDF-affiliated Manbij Military Council asked them to form a buffer zone between the town and Turkish-backed rebels in al-Bab, 25 miles to the southwest.
The move means US and Russian forces are now patrolling neighbouring villages, bringing the rival militaries to their closest proximity to date.
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