Turkish chief of staff attends anti-ISIL meeting in Madrid
AP photoChief of Turkish General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar has departed for Spain to attend a seventh gathering of the coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) announced Oct. 26.
Akar arrived in Madrid to participate in a meeting with chiefs of staff from members of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIL, Anadolu Agency reported, noting that Akar would return to Turkey after attending the meeting on Oct. 26.
In July, Turkey made a preliminary step toward joining the counter-offensive by allowing U.S. planes to use İncirlik Air Base in the southern province of Adana to attack ISIL positions in Syria. On July 24, Turkish warplanes purportedly attacked ISIL targets in Syria, but not as part of the coalition operation.
In late August, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that Turkish jets had joined the U.S.-led coalition in the fight against ISIL, hitting targets in Syria.
The high-profile meeting in Madrid follows an Oct. 23 meeting in Vienna where U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with the foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia on ways to end the Syria conflict.
A day before the Vienna meeting, Akar hosted Saudi Arabia’s Chief-of-Staff, Gen. Abdulrahman Bin Saleh al-Banyan, at a closed-door meeting in Ankara.