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Turkish, US defense ministers discuss Iraq over phone

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper makes a speech during the joint press conference with US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford (not seen) at the Pentagon in Washington, United States on 28 August, 2019 [Yasin Öztürk/Anadolu Agency]
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the Pentagon in Washington, US on 28 August 2019 [Yasin Öztürk/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey’s defense minister held a phone conversation with his US counterpart to discuss recent developments in Iraq, an official statement from Turkey said Monday.

According to the statement issued by Turkey’s National Defense Ministry, Turkey’s Hulusi Akar and the US’s Mark Esper addressed security issues in the region concerning both countries.

Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, was killed in a US drone airstrike outside Baghdad airport on Friday.

The Pentagon accused Soleimani of plotting an attack on the US Embassy compound in Baghdad and planning to carry out additional attacks on US diplomats and service members in Iraq and the region.

Earlier, Akar had received the chief of Qatar’s land forces Said al-Khayarin in the Turkish capital Ankara, according to a statement by the ministry.

They discussed bilateral and regional defense and security, said the statement.

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