Daily Management Review

‘Comprehensive battle’ Against Islamic State to be Launched Soon from Turkey


08/05/2015




‘Comprehensive battle’ Against Islamic State to be Launched Soon from Turkey
A well coordinated and "comprehensive battle" against the Islamic State militants would begin soon from Turkish soil and air bases. This was disclosed by Turkish government on Wednesday.
 
The anti ISIS coalition is led by the US and several European and East African nations would be part of the allied force.
 
Last month, in a major policy change, the Turkish government formally agreed to open its air bases to U.S. and coalition aircraft. Turkey is a member of NATO and this decision is viewed as the nation’s decision in taking a frontline role against the Islamist fighters pressing on its borders.
 
There are ongoing discussions for finalizing a plan about a possible air cover for a group of U.S.-trained Syrian rebels. The US and Turkey are also finalizing plans to jointly sweep Islamic State from a 80 kilometer strip of land that is situated along the Turkish frontier.
 
“As part of our agreement with the U.S. we have made progress regarding the opening up of our bases, particularly Incirlik,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the Turkish state broadcaster TRT. The minister was referring to a major air base near the Turkey’s southern city of Adana.
 
Soon a comprehensive battle against Islamic State would be launched together as the Turkish government expects the arrival of manned and unmanned American, Cavusoglu had said in an earlier trip to Malaysia.
 
Just under two weeks ago, the Turkish army had launched several air strikes against Islamic State fighters in northern Syria in reaction to the death of one of its soldiers in cross-border fire. Near-simultaneous attacks on camps belonging to the PKK Kurdish militant group in northern Iraq were also carried out by the country.
 
There has however been opposition to the operations with allegations that President Tayyip Erdogan was using the war against Islamic State as a cover for preventing Kurdish gains.
Syria has reacted sharply in reacting to the announcement by Turkey.

Walid al-Moualem, the Syrian foreign minister was quoted saying that though the planned offensive against the Islamic State were welcome, nothing should be done without coordination with Damascus or else it would be a breach of Syrian sovereignty. Syria does not want to be left in the dark for counter offensive against the Islamic State militants.

“For us in Syria there is no moderate opposition and immoderate opposition. Whoever carries weapons against the state is a terrorist,” Walid al-Moualem  was quoted to have said during a visit to Iran.

"The United States contacted us before they sent in this group (U.S.-trained rebels) and said they are fighting against Daesh (Islamic State) and not the Syrian army at all," he said.

A possible game changer in the latest offensive planned against the Islamic State would be the cutting off Islamic State's access to the Turkish border, according to diplomats who are familiar with and have knowledge about the coalition plans.

At the core of the planned offensive would be a highly equipped U.S.-trained rebels who would have the ability to call in close air support when needed

Underscoring the vulnerability of a group only deployed to the battlefield in recent weeks, the US have claimed that there were indications that some of the rebels trained by its military were captured by fighters from al Qaeda's Syria wing, Nusra Front.

Another possible road block to the planned offensive is the distrust of Turkey about the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia who have been successfully utilized by the US.

 (Sources: www.reuters.com) 






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