Ankara Grants US Military Go-Ahead for Strikes Against ISIL From Turkey

Ankara Grants US Military Go-Ahead for Strikes Against ISIL From Turkey
# 23 July 2015 20:41 (UTC +04:00)

According to Turkish media reports, an agreement between US President Barack Obama and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was finalized Wednesday night, after the two leaders spoke by phone.

The deal would purportedly involve the US utilization of Incirlik Air Base in eastern Turkey. The deal would allow for both manned and unmanned aircraft to conduct strikes against the terrorist group in Syria.

The Turkish military, however, will not take part in the airstrikes.

The White House has neither confirmed nor denied the reports.

The Turkish government has repeatedly said it has no interest in launching offensives into Syria, but a recent wave of violence along the border may have changed that policy. On Monday, a suspected IS suicide bomber killed 32 students in a town along the border. On Thursday, border clashes with IS fighters left one Turkish officer dead.

"They're in a counter-ISIL fight right across the border," a defense official, speaking anonymously, told the Wall Street Journal.

The Turkish military has bolstered its security along the border as conflict between Kurdish militia, IS fighters, and Syrian security forces grows stronger.

Ankara had agreed to open airbases to the US military late last year, but that deal fell through after the United States failed to agree to certain Turkish conditions.