World Bulletin / News Desk
It has been claimed that recent visits by US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Defence Minister Chuck Hagel to Turkey were to request the use of the US air base in Incirlik for operations against ISIL militants in Iraq.
Turkey, which refused the sign its commitment to a coalition of nations against the ISIL, stating fears for some 49 Turkish citizens being held hostage by the group, also turned down the US request to use the Incirlik air base in the country's south-east for operational and logistic support in the latest air strikes against rebel targets.
Although Turkey agreed to allow the US to use the air base for humanitarian purposes only, Turkey's daily Yeni Safak reported that during his visit John Kerry criticized Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for abstaining from the US-led coalition against ISIL, saying that the refraining disrupted the image of the coalition.
Turkey, which is itself faced with threats of attack by the ISIL, has been discussing plans to create buffer zones and no-fly zones over some parts of Syria and Iraq to prevent the war from spilling over on to its territories.
President Erdogan met with his ministers to discuss a report drawn up by Turkey's Chief of Army Staff Necdet Ozel which stated that attacks by the US-led coalition in Iraq and Syria could lead to a new wave of up to four million refugees fleeing towards Turkey's borders, which would make buffer zones set up by NATO forces necessary.
The report did not specifically state the surface area of the proposed buffer zones, but should the plan be accepted at the 69th session of the U.N. General Assembly on September 21, which President Erdogan plans to attend, it is expected that Erdogan will seek to include Turkey's Suleiman Shah base in Syria's Aleppo to be included within it.Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Eylül 2014, 13:45