Reuters International

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and his Turkish counterpart Fikri Isik on Thursday discussed the importance of local forces being at the centre of any effort to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State, the Pentagon said.

"The secretary and minister discussed Turkey's recent successes against ISIL in northern Syria, and Carter assured Isik of the United States' continued support for Turkey's efforts to clear ISIL from its borders," the Pentagon said in a statement after a meeting in London.

"The two also discussed the importance of retaking Raqqa, and the need for local forces to play a central role. Both agreed to maintain frequent communication on the full range of mutual interests," the statement said.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Humeyra Pamuk)

reuters_tickers

 Reuters International