Turkey to Start Combatting ISIS in Northern Syria Soon

Agence France Presse (AFP)06.08.2015 Turkey
Turkey to Start Combatting ISIS in Northern Syria Soon

Turkey to Start Combatting ISIS in Northern Syria Soon

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Turkey will soon start combating Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group militants inside northern Syria, its Foreign Minister vowed Wednesday as he met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Malaysia.

“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.

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.

Source: AFP; File Photo

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