Worthy Christian News » World News » Turkey Opens Key Air Bases for US Strikes On ISIS
(Worthy News) - Turkey will open up Incirlik Air Force Base, about 250 miles from the Syrian city of Raqqa, to U.S. and coalition strike operations against the Islamic State, or ISIS, Pentagon and Obama administration officials confirmed. The move puts anti-ISIS aircraft, which had been flying some 1,200 miles to strike enemy positions, much closer to the various battlegrounds, including Raqqa, the effective capital of the Islamic State in Syria.
"We have decided to further deepen our cooperation in the fight against ISIL. Access to Turkish bases such as Incirlik air base will increase the coalition's operational efficiency for counter-ISIL efforts, including airstrikes," said Capt. Jeff Davis, Pentagon spokesman, in a statement provided Thursday to Defense One, which earlier had reported that Turkish press reported the reversal in Turkish policy over the weekend. "As allies, we take threats to Turkey's border very seriously. Our cooperation will provide the coalition operational flexibility to respond to these threats, especially those emanating from Syria." [ Source ]
Turkey, ISIS exchange cross-border fire in major escalation
Turkish forces returned fire on Islamic State militants in Syria with tank shells on Thursday after a Turkish soldier was killed and two others were wounded in a cross-border firefight, military and government officials said.
The fighting comes days after a suspected suicide bombing by the Islamist radical group in a Turkish border town killed 32 people, many of them students and some of them Kurds, touching off waves of violence in the largely Kurdish southeast. [ Source ]
Increasing Violence Along Turkey's Border with Syria
The news comes amid increasing violence along Turkey's 560-mile long border with Syria. ISIS is believed to have been behind a suicide attack on Monday that killed 32 and injured 100 mostly Kurdish activists. Kurdish militants, many of whom blame Turkey for not doing more to stop ISIS, reportedly responded by killing two Turkish police officers. A border-area gunfight erupted Thursday between suspected-ISIS extremists and Turkish police, leaving at least one dead on each side. [ Source ]