Turkey gives France authorization to use Turkish airspace in anti-ISIL operations
This photo released on Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) shows a French army Rafale fighter jet taking off from the deck of France's aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle, in the Mediterranean sea. AP PhotoThe Turkish government has granted France permission to use its airspace in the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), diplomatic sources have told Hürriyet Daily News.
“France asked us for authorization to use our airspace in the context of the fight against Deash [ISIL] in Syria. This authorization was given on condition that the general principles outlined for the coalition countries are followed,” the source said.
France is to “intensify Syria operations” after the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, said French President François Hollande, while police raided the homes of suspected Islamist militants across France overnight, arresting 23 people, after French aircraft began intensifying bombing ISIL targets in the caliphate’s capital, Raqqa, on Nov. 15.
Meanwhile, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen will visit Turkey on Dec. 3 to conduct talks with her counterpart, İsmet Yılmaz.
Although no official decision has been taken yet, German and Turkish officials have been working on finalizing a memorandum of understanding on the basis of Germany’s proposals, diplomatic sources told the Hürriyet Daily News.
Germany wants to send six Tornado reconnaissance jets, refueling aircraft to İncirlik Airbase in southern Turkey, a frigate to protect a French aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea, and up to 1,200 military personnel to the region for one year, in response to a French appeal after the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.
Some 550 of the 1,200 German military personnel are set to be deployed on Turkish territory, the diplomatic sources said.