US responds to Davutoğlu, says stance on ISIL fight unchanged
'Our position hasn’t changed. Our focus is on ISIL,' US Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Oct. 6. AA PhotoThe United States has said its position on the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has not changed, hours after Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the operation should target the Syrian regime.
“Our position hasn’t changed. Our focus is on ISIL. We certainly are continuing to support the Syrian opposition, but I don’t have anything new on that regard,” U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Oct. 6 during a press briefing.
The question was about remarks Davutoğlu made during an interview on Oct. 6 with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
Ground troops can be used in the operation targeting ISIL as part of a comprehensive strategy also targeting the Bashar al-Assad regime, Davutoğlu said in the interview.
He also said Turkey will join the coalition against ISIL “only with [the establishment of] a no-fly zone and safe havens inside Syria.”
When asked about the plans for safe havens, Psaki reiterated the U.S.'s stance.
“Part of our focus right now is on having a discussion with our coalition partners, including Turkey, about what the needs are, what roles they can play moving forward. Nothing has changed since I addressed this question last week in terms of a no-fly zone or a buffer zone and what is and isn’t under consideration,” she said.
Psaki recalled last week’s vote in the Turkish Parliament authorizing cross-border operations and the stationing of foreign troops in Turkey.
“The leaders of Turkey have indicated over the past several weeks that they want to play a more prominent, active role in the coalition. We’re having discussions with them about what that role is, what ideas they have. And they had a vote in Parliament, we’ll see what happens,” Psaki said.