Turkey to join coalition's air fight against ISIL soon: Pentagon

Turkey to join coalition's air fight against ISIL soon: Pentagon

WASHINGTON - Anadolu Agency
Turkey to join coalitions air fight against ISIL soon: Pentagon

AP photo

Turkish jets will soon fly alongside U.S.-led coalition aircrafts in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a Pentagon official said on Aug. 27.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters that American and Turkish military experts have put the final touches on an agreement signed earlier this week but declined to give an exact date when Turkish aircrafts would join the coalition.

“I am not going to give you days and hours but very soon,” he said, noting that Turkey’s participation would give the coalition the ability to fly more missions within the air campaign against the militant group.

The agreement, in part, allows the U.S. to conduct manned and unmanned flights out of the İncirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, and for Turkish jets to conduct airstrikes against ISIL.

Turkey last month conducted solo airstrikes against ISIL targets inside Syria but the agreement with the U.S. will set a common targeting process that integrates Turkish jets into the coalition force.

ISIL sole target in joints strikes

Davis said ISIL would be the only target and that Turkey will join airstrikes against the militant group in Iraq and Syria.

To avoid the risk of aircrafts running into each other, Davis said  Turkey will continue to inform the coalition of planned airstrikes against the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), listed as terror group by the U.S. and the European Union.