World Bulletin / News Desk
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Thursday that Ankara should “do more” in the campaign against ISIL.
“We do want Turkey to do more in the fight against ISIL,” Carter told reporters at the Pentagon, noting that Turkey has “agreed in principle” to join the bombing campaign against ISIL.
“That's only one part of what we need Turkey to do and what Turkey has indicated some willingness to do,” he added. “We need them also as a neighbor to this conflict zone, as a long-time NATO ally and a responsible member of the anti-ISIL coalition, to control the border, the long border that they have with both Syria and Iraq, more than it has been controlled over the last year.”
Turkey agreed in July to allow the U.S.-led anti-ISIL coalition to launch airstrikes against the militant’s positions from the strategic Incirlik Air Base, located near Turkey’s border with war-torn Syria.
There are currently six U.S. F-16s at the site, along with 300 American personnel at Incirlik.
Carter hailed the decision to open Turkish airfields as “important”, but said it is “not enough.”
Turkish officials have said that they would join the anti-ISIL bombing campaign, but Ankara has yet to participate.
In the interim, the U.S. has requested that Turkey not undertake independent anti-ISIL airstrikes in Syria.
The Pentagon said on Monday that Washington and Ankara are in active discussions on using additional Turkish air bases to stage personnel recovery teams for coalition personnel, particularly downed pilots.Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Ağustos 2015, 09:09