US Defense Secretary Ash Carter called Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik on Wednesday to express his deep condolences following yesterday’s heinous terrorist attack at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Deputy Press Secretary Gordon Trowbridge said in a readout of the call.
According to media reports, at least 41 people were killed and another 230 injured in the terror attack, which has yet to be claimed by any group. The State Department said it’s not aware of any U.S. citizens killed or injured in the attack.
Trowbridge said the defense secretary strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Istanbul as a “cowardly assault on a stalwart NATO ally and enduring partner in our efforts to confront the threat of terrorism.”
Carter emphasized that the Defense Department joins with the people of Turkey in mourning the victims of this tragedy, and reaffirmed that the department will work closely and resolutely with Turkish allies to defeat terrorists of any kind, the deputy press secretary said.
The defense secretary also commended Isik on reports of selfless acts by Turkish security personnel at the airport during this attack, Trowbridge said, and the two leaders agreed to confer again at the upcoming NATO Warsaw Summit.