Turkey prepares plan to battle IS

Turkey said a US-led coalition will soon launch a “comprehensive battle” against Islamic State militants from Turkish air bases, but Syria said any military action not co-ordinated with Damascus would breach its sovereignty.

Nato-member Turkey agreed to open its air bases to US and coalition aircraft last month, a major change after years of reluctance in taking a frontline role against the Islamist fighters.

Ankara and Washington have been working on plans to provide air cover for a group of US-trained Syrian rebels and jointly sweep Islamic State from a strip of territory stretching 80km along the Turkish frontier.

“As part of our agreement with the US we have made progress regarding the opening up of our bases, particularly Incirlik,” foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told state broadcaster TRT.

“We’re seeing that manned and unmanned American planes are arriving and soon we will launch a comprehensive battle against Islamic State all together.”

Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moualem said Syria supported efforts to combat Islamic State provided they were co-ordinated with Damascus.


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