Mattis: US, Turkey finding 'common ground' on Syria

BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the United States and Turkey are having an open dialogue about their growing differences over the fight in Syria, and are "finding common ground."

Mattis spoke at the close of a NATO defense ministers meeting. He presented a more calm view of the escalating rhetoric over America's continued aid to the U.S.-backed Kurdish rebels in Syria. Ankara considers those fighters a terrorist group.

Mattis, who met with Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli, calls the conversations "absolutely open and honest dialogue." He insisted the two countries are "coming together on what we can do together."

There have been persistent tensions between the two allies over U.S. support for the Kurdish rebels in Syria, and Turkey's increasing assault against Kurds in northern Syria.