U.S.: Turkey can do more to fight ISIS
The defeat of ISIS 'needs to occur, it will occur … first and foremost in Syria and Iraq'
The U.S. secretary of defense on Saturday called on Turkey to expand its efforts to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, saying that its long borders with Syria and Iraq were “porous to foreign fighters.”
While Ashton Carter stressed that “Turkey is a long-time friend of ours, he added that he thought “the Turks can do more to fight ISIL,” using another acronym for the militant group.
The secretary of defense, speaking at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss town of Davos, said on Friday that several members of the U.S.-led coalition striking ISIS are doing “nothing at all” to help fight the militants.
His comments mark a departure from the Pentagon's typical depiction of the 65-member coalition, which carries the slogan “One mission, many nations,” and is frequently touted to highlight global resolve in the predominantly U.S. to defeat ISIS.
“Many of them are not doing enough, or are doing nothing at all,” Carter said in an interview with CNBC in Davox. “We can do a lot ourselves ... (but) we are looking for other people to play their part.”
In a separate interview with Bloomberg TV, Carter called the anti-ISIS alliance a “so-called” coalition, highlighting frustrations the Pentagon has with partners. “We need others to carry their weight, there should be no free riders,” he said.
The defeat of ISIS “needs to occur, it will occur … first and foremost in Syria and Iraq,” he said adding that he shares the ambition of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to defeat the militants by the end of this year.
The coalition has been bombing the militants since August 2014 but despite killing thousands of their fighters and reclaiming large areas they once held, the ISIS group is still launching attacks around the world, including in Jakarta, Afghanistan and Paris.