ANKARA, TURKEY : The heads of the Turkish and U.S. armed forces discussed joint strategies against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq during a meeting in Ankara on Sunday, the Turkish military said in a statement.

Turkish chief of general staff Hulusi Akar met his U.S. counterpart Joseph Dunford hours after U.S.-backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) launched an operation to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State.

"Joint combat methods against Daesh (Islamic State) in Syria and Iraq, namely al-Bab and Raqqa, were discussed for the coming days," the statement said, referring to two Syrian cities.

The two military chiefs also discussed the actions of the Kurdish YPG, a group backed by the United States but seen as a hostile force by Turkey, in Syria and Iraq and the risks of sectarian clashes in the region, the Turkish statement said.