World Bulletin / News Desk
"We hope that all coalition forces, especially the United States, will provide the air support and other support that Turkey needs in the Operation Euphrates Shield,” Fikri Isik told reporters during a ceremony at Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) in Ankara.
Launched on Aug. 24, Operation Euphrates Shield aims to clear northern Syria of terrorist organizations, including ISIL, and to ensure the security of Turkey’s southern border using Free Syrian Army fighters backed by Turkish artillery and jets.
Isik said it was “curious” that the NATO allies, and the anti-ISIL coalition members had so far failed to provide the “desired” support for the operation launched by the Free Syrian Army to liberate Al-Bab, which he said was of “highly critical” importance in the fight against ISIL.
The Turkish army is supporting FSA fighters in liberating Al-Bab, a strategic city for ISIL, from the terrorist group. Wednesday marks the 134th day since the city was surrounded in order to liberate it.
The minister also said that Turkey's first national helicopter would hit the skies in September 2018.