Thursday, July 23, 2015

Turkey Lets US Use Its Land for Airstrikes on IS; OKs Its Use After IS Bomber Killed 30 in Turkey

Obama administration officials said today (July 23, 2015) that the United States and Turkey have reached an agreement in which manned and unmanned American warplanes will carry out airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, near the Syrian border, according to the NY Times website.

The agreement came after months of negotiations that culminated yesterday with a phone call between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Obama.

The development came as Turkish forces were reported to have engaged in their first combat with Islamic State forces on the Syrian side of the border. Also, at least 30 people were killed in Turkey on July 20, as a result of an explosion in the Turkish town of Suruc by an ISIS suicide bomber.

Allowing the U.S. the right to use its land to conduct airstrikes at nearby ISIS-controlled territory in Syria was a step Turkish authorities had been reluctant to take until now to protect Turkey's 500-mile border with Syria, where ISIS is firmly established. However, ISIS' unexpected aggressive action against Turkey earlier this week has caused Turkey to become a "game changer," as one Obama administration official called it.

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