Date
26 May 2017
A Turkish fighter jet prepares to take off from an airbase outside the capital Ankara. The Turkish air force will be a full partner in the fight against jihadists. Photo: AFP
A Turkish fighter jet prepares to take off from an airbase outside the capital Ankara. The Turkish air force will be a full partner in the fight against jihadists. Photo: AFP

Turkey becomes full partner in anti-jihadist strikes

Turkey will see full action in the fight against Islamist militants under an agreement with the United States.

US officials are calling the agreement “a significant step forward” in the fight against the jihadists, BBC News reports.

Ankara already allows US planes to operate from two Turkish airbases.

Turkey has conducted a handful of strikes against the militants but it will now be fully integrated into the strategy of the wider coalition.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said it would probably take “a few days” to put the agreement into practice.

He said “cooperation with the Turks and the expansion of that cooperation remains a work in progress” and that talks were continuing with Turkey “with regard to border issues”.

Last month, Turkey launched its first strikes on the militants since the group began its advance through Iraq and Syria in 2013.

Previousy, it had been reluctant to take military action but that position changed after a number of attacks within Turkey that were blamed on the jihadists.

The US and its allies carried out 36 air strikes against the jihadists in Iraq and Syria on Monday, Reuters reports, citing a US military statement said.

The strikes targeted weapons and vehicles in Iraq in various areas, including 12 near Tuz while five air raids were conducted against militant targets in Syria.

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CG/RA

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