U.S. President Obama wants to discuss the recent attempted coup in Turkey ''as well as our counter ISIL campaign and our efforts that promote stability in Syria,'' Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes says during a White House briefing. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: President Barack Obama will meet with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan ahead of this weekend's G20 summit in China, the White House said on Monday (August 29). President Obama wants to discuss the recent attempted coup in Turkey "as well as our counter ISIL campaign and our efforts that promote stability in Syria and to respond to the refugee crisis," Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters. The meeting is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 4. Turkish-backed forces pushed deeper into northern Syria on Monday and drew a rebuke from NATO ally the United States, which said it was concerned the battle for territory had shifted away from targeting Islamic State. At the start of Turkey's now almost week-long cross-border offensive, Turkish tanks, artillery and warplanes provided Syrian rebel allies with the firepower to capture swiftly the Syrian frontier town of Jarablus from Islamic State militants. Since then, Turkish forces have mainly pushed into areas controlled by fighters aligned to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition that encompasses the Kurdish YPG militia and which has been backed by Washington to fight the jihadists. "We do not support and we would oppose efforts to move South and engage in activities against the Syrian Democratic Forces, the SDF forces that we have supported," said Rhodes. A group monitoring the tangled, five-year-old conflict in Syria said 41 people were killed by Turkish air strikes as Turkish forces pushed south on Sunday. Turkey denied there were any civilian deaths, saying 25 Kurdish militants had been killed. Turkey, which is battling a Kurdish insurgency on its soil, has said its campaign has a dual goal of "cleansing" the region of Islamic State and stopping Kurdish forces filling the void and extending the area they control near Turkey's border. That has put Ankara at odds with Washington and adds to tensions when Turkey's government is still reeling from last month's failed coup, which it says Washington was too slow to condemn.