World Bulletin/News Desk
U.S. and Turkish officials met Friday to discuss cooperation between the two countries in the fight against ISIL militants.
Lisa Monaco, President Barack Obama’s assistant for Homeland Security and counterterrorism, met in Washington with Dr. Hakan Fidan, Chief of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization, according to a statement from Monaco’s office.
Their meeting took place as Gen. John Allen, the U.S. special envoy to the coalition, and his deputy, Ambassador Brett McGurk, were in Ankara to meet with Turkish Deputy Chief of Defense General Yasar Guler and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
Talks in Ankara has produced an agreement by Turkey to support a train and equip program for moderate Syrian fighters as part of that country’s commitment to the U.S.-led coalition against the group.
Monaco’s meeting underscored the importance of accelerating Turkish assistance as part of the U.S. strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.
"Ms. Monaco emphasized the need to more quickly build the capacity of Iraqi security forces as well as the moderate Syrian opposition, and to take further steps to strengthen border security and disrupt the movement of foreign terrorist fighters to and from Syria," read the statement.
According to the statement, the two also reviewed the shared threat posed by al-Qaida veterans in Syria and agreed to continue to consult closely on security and intelligence matters going forward.
THREE 'IMPOSSIBLE' REQUESTS
According to the brahim Kalin, "Turkey is asked to do three things that no other country is asked to do: send Turkish forces into Kobani, send arms to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and/or allow PKK fighters into Syria."
Analyzing each option and refuting, Kalin said in an opinion piece published in Daily Sabah that international community want Turkey to "carry the burden alone":
"Short of military intervention, Turkey is doing everything it can. But apparently this is not enough for some. Somehow, Turkey should carry the burden alone and when it refuses to do so, on perfectly legitimate grounds, it is blamed of "failing Kobani." In the meantime, U.S. officials make it clear that preventing the fall of Kobani is not a "strategic priority." Putting the blame on Turkey for the failure of coalition airstrikes in Kobani is a failure of logic in this brutal war. Furthermore, hitting ISIS and going into Kobani without addressing the root causes, which include the Assad regime, is a shortsighted strategy that will neither bring the end of ISIS nor eliminate other security threats."
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday that the key military assistance the United States would like to get from Turkey would be access to the Turkish air base at İncirlik and an agreement to help train and equip the moderate Syrian forces.
While Ankara's persistent request for the US to set up a safe zone along Turkey's border with Syria is not "actively being considered," he said, American leaders are open to a discussion about it.
The defense secretary said Turkey has military capabilities that would be valuable in the fight against the ISIL militants. The US would like to be able to base various aircraft at the air base near the Syrian border, he said.Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Ekim 2014, 13:05