WASHINGTON, November 22 (Sputnik) – Washington will continue to cooperate with Ankara on providing support to "moderate opposition" in Syria, which is battling Islamic State (IS) extremists, the White House said in a statement following a meeting between US Vice President Joe Biden and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
"The two leaders agreed on the need to degrade and defeat ISIL, to work towards a political transition in Syria, and provide support for the Iraqi Security Forces and the moderate Syrian opposition," the statement, released Friday, said.
According to the White House, Biden and Davutoglu discussed "the fight against ISIL in Iraq and Syria" during their Friday meeting in Ankara, which followed the US Vice President's visit to Ukraine.
IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is a Sunni jihadi group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched an offensive in Iraq, seizing vast areas in both countries and announcing the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control.
The United States started launching airstrikes against IS positions in Iraq in August.
In September, US President Barack Obama announced his decision to form an international anti-IS coalition. Washington extended its airstrikes against the militants into Syria, while continuing airstrikes against the group's targets in Iraq. Obama said the United States would arm and equip Kurds, Iraqis and Syria's "moderate opposition" in an effort to eradicate IS extremists.
The Turkish parliament has approved the use of military force against IS, but the country has not been involved in the US-led standoff pending the creation of a no-fly area over Syria and a buffer zone on its northern border with Turkey, as proposed by Ankara.