Incirlik Joins Anti-ISIS Fight

After months of negotiations, Turkey agreed to allow US and coalition planes to launch air strikes against ISIS extremists from Incirlik Air Base, located near Syria’s border, according to multiple reports. The news comes one day after President Barack Obama spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “about deepening our ongoing cooperation in the fight against ISIL,” according to a readout of the discussion, released by the White House on July 22. A US State Department official told Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News “that the Incirlik base was expected to open in early August to be used in the anti-ISIL fight.” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinç, speaking to reporters in Ankara, Turkey, on July 22, said Turkey “had agreed on certain topics to support the [anti-ISIS] coalition’s efforts during a recent meeting with the US special representative,” reported the Hurriyet. Although Turkey already agreed to host training for Syrian opposition fighters, it previously prohibited the US-led coalition from launching strikes in support of Operation Inherent Resolve from its soil. The political aboutface comes after one Turkish soldier was killed and two sergeants were wounded from “gunfire coming from Syria in Turkey’s southern Kilis province,” reported the stated-owned Anadolu Agency on July 23.