Washington: The US and Turkey have reachedan agreement which will see Turkish jets join the air strike against Islamic State (IS) which claims a large chunk of territory in Iraq and Syria.
"The US and Turkey have finalised technical details for Turkey's full inclusion in the counter-ISIL coalition operations. This includes full integration into the coalition's air tasking order, which tracks, coordinates, and deconflicts all coalition air operations," Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told reporters at a news conference.
Noting it could take a few days to put these technical arrangements into place at the operational level, he said the US believes that Turkey is committed to fully participating as soon as possible.
"Turkey is a NATO ally, close friend of the United States, and an important partner in the international coalition against ISIL," he said. Turkey is already allowing the use of Turkish bases for US strike and supporting aircraft.
"That's been a very important force multiplier, as we expect it will continue to complement our efforts to pressure ISIL on a number of fronts," he said. Beyond air operations, the US continues its talks with Turkey to evaluate options on the most effective means of countering ISIL, including along its borders in a manner that promotes Turkey's security and regional stability.
As a result of this arrangement, Cook said Turkey is now going to be flying alongside with other coalition aircraft is a significant step forward....