U.S. bombs ISIS after taking off from Turkey
Turkey’s FM says Ankara is ‘training and equipping’ moderate Syrian rebels to start fighting ISIS during a meeting with Kerry
A US armed drone on Wednesday bombed a target in Islamic State-controlled northern Syria, in the first such air strike by a US aircraft after taking off from Turkish territory, a Turkish official was quoted by AFP.
"A US drone today carried out one air strike in Syria near Raqa," said the official, referring to the town in northern Syria the IS group sees as its capital.
The drone had taken off from Turkey's Incirlik air base in the south of the country which Ankara has now opened to the US military for armed attacks on IS targets in Syria, the source added.
Turkey To start fight against ISIS in Syria ‘soon’
Earlier Turkish foreign minister vowed that his country will soon start combating Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group militants inside northern Syria.
"Now we are training and equipping the moderate (Syrian) opposition together with the United States, and we will also start our fight against Daesh very effectively soon,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters at the start of the meeting with Kerry, using the Arab acronym for the militant group.
“Then the ground will be safer for the moderate opposition that are fighting Daesh on the ground,” he added.
The two envoys met at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur on the sidelines of a regional security gathering hosted by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Washington has long been pushing its long-time ally Turkey to step up the fight against the so-called ISIS, something Ankara had until recently been reluctant to do.
That position changed after deadly attacks inside Turkey, some of which were blamed on ISIS.
Turkey has since carried out a series of air strikes, claiming they were targeting militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq as well as ISIS militants.
But observers say PKK fighters been on the receiving end of far more airstrikes that ISIS.
Last month Ankara also said it would allow U.S. warplanes to launch attacks against Islamic State from Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey.
The moves marked a significant increase in Turkey’s role in the fight against the militants, who have seized large areas of Syria and Iraq.
Turkey shares a 500-mile (800-kilometer) border with Syria, and a section of its southern frontier abuts directly with territory controlled by the ISIS group.
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