Turkey to allow US led coalition to use its Incirlik Air Base to fight against ISIS

Oct 13, 2014 14:10 IST

Turkey on 12 October 2014 allowed US led coalition to use its Incirlik Air Base to fight against Islamic State (ISIS).

It further allowed to use its territory as part of a training program for Syrian opposition fighters.

US stand

Defence Secretary said that the use of Incirlik for Syria Missions was one of the key U.S. requests. U.S. officials confirmed that it will take several months to vet up to 5000 opposition fighters, and up to an additional eight months for the training to be completed.

Turkey has joined Saudi Arabia in agreeing to the training program. Their facilities inside of Turkey can be used by the coalition forces to engage in activities inside of Iraq and Syria.

Turkey stand

Turkey had been reluctant to sign on to the coalition against the Islamic State, which it believed has diverted attention from the effort to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Its government has long been critical of delays in the U.S. training program.

Turkey shares a border with Syria and Iraq, but has so far ruled out any ground operation of its own.

About Incirlik Air Base

Incirlik is a U.S.-built facility about 35 miles inland from the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea, near Turkey’s border with Syria. Incirlik is a joint facility where both the Turkish and U.S. air forces operate.

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