Release
Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper's Phone Call With Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar

Aug. 21, 2019

Department of Defense Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan R. Hoffman provided the following readout:

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper and Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar held a phone call August 21, 2019, where they discussed security in northeast Syria.

Secretary Esper and Minister Akar praised the work the military-to-military delegations accomplished thus far and welcomed the implementation of a security mechanism in northeast Syria. The U.S. and Turkey will execute the plan in designated phases and in a coordinated and combined manner at all times.

While there are still technical details to be worked through, Secretary Esper and Minister Akar confirmed their intent to take immediate, coordinated steps to implement the framework as demonstrated by standing up the Joint Coordination Center in Turkey. 

Secretary Esper and Minister Akar affirmed this mechanism as a viable way to secure and stabilize the border in a sustainable manner, ensure campaign continuity in the Global Coalition's efforts to defeat ISIS, and limit any uncoordinated military operations that would undermine this shared interest.