Turkey to Join International Coalition Against ISIS

August 25, 2015  

The United States and Turkey have finalized technical details on an agreement to include Turkey in an international effort to bring down the Islamic State (ISIS), fully integrating Turkey into the international coalition’s airstrikes against the group, a Pentagon spokesman said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

“It could take a few days to put these technical arrangements into place at the operational level. We believe that Turkey is committed to fully participating as soon as possible,” Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said at a media briefing, according to the news agency.

Cook said the United States is continuing to discuss border operations with Turkey.

Washington has long been pushing its NATO ally Turkey to step up the fight against ISIS and Ankara’s involvement in the coalition has been seen as a game-changing moment in the fight against ISIS.

Last month, the United States and Turkey agreed to work together to drive ISIS jihadists from northern Syria, and  American forces recently started arriving to use the well-located Incirlik air base in southern Turkey.

Turkey is currently pressing a two-pronged “anti-terror” offensive against ISIS jihadists in Syria and Kurdish PKK militants in northern Iraq and the southeast following a wave of attacks.

So far, however, the Turkish raids have concentrated on the PKK targets, and only three of them have officially been identified as targeting ISIS. The Kurdish rebels have responded by tearing up a 2013 ceasefire and waging a bloody campaign against the security forces.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed that his country would press on with its relentless campaign against Kurdish militants “until not one terrorist” was left.

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