US liaison officer in Ankara to coordinate between Turkey, US over ops in Syria, Iraq
AA photoA U.S. official, appointed to coordinate between Turkey and the U.S. for their operations in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has come to Ankara for an official visit, private broadcaster CNN Türk reported on Nov. 20.
The decision to appoint an American liaison officer and staff aligned to him to enhance cooperation between the two NATO allies was reached during U.S. Chief of General Staff Gen. Roger Dunford’s visit to Ankara on Nov. 6, during which he met with his Turkish counterpart, Gen. Hulusi Akar.
The U.S. officer is expected to work at the Office of Defense Cooperation Turkey (ODC-T) in Ankara and report to U.S. Central Command commander Army Gen. Joe Votel.
The officer will act as a point of contact for the Combined Joint Task Force operating against ISIL.
“We want to be totally transparent about this with our Turkish ally,” Dunford said at an article posted on the U.S. Department of Defense’s official website.
Apart from contributing to the U.S.-led anti-ISIL fight, Turkey has also launched an operation, the Euphrates Shield operation, to clear its southern border of both ISIL and the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) forces, which Turkey considers as a terrorist group linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).