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Turkish-US ties face fresh turbulence over Iraq, Syria

Washington’s demand that Turkey withdraw troops from Iraq and the US alliance with Syrian Kurds are potential flashpoints in US-Turkish relations.
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) at the U.S. ambassador's residence during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) in Paris, France December 1, 2015. Obama urged Turkey on Tuesday to reduce tensions with Moscow after the downing of a Russian warplane and to seal its border with Syria to choke off the supply of money and fighters to Islamic State militants. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  - RTX1WOVR

Turkey and the United States may be strategic partners, but this has not prevented a rise in tensions between them stemming from differences over developments in Iraq and Syria. Turkish-US relations face potentially fresh turbulence as US-led coalition forces make headway against the Islamic State (IS), amplifying their differences. Both countries are nevertheless trying to keep a lid on their strained relations. 

Turkey continues to play host to high-level representatives from the United States, in the process trying to take advantage of their visits to draw Washington closer to its line on Iraq and Syria. A Jan. 6 visit by Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was followed by a delegation of US senators led by Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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