Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Plans of Getting Tougher on ISIS

U.S., Turkey and Saudi Arabia are probably joining forces in their fight against ISIS. Such are today's headlines by CNN, France 24 and Al-Arabiya.

الملك سلمان: يجب القضاء على داعش ولتركيا حق حماية شعبها

King Salman: There is need for the annihilation of ISIS
and for [a rule allowing] Turkey to defend its people.

في اتصال هاتفي جرى بين العاهل السعودي الملك سلمان والرئيس التركي رجب طيب أردوغان بحث الزعيمان التطورات الأخيرة ومستجدات الأوضاع في المنطقة.ـ

In a telephone call between the Saudi ruler King Salman and Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the two leaders discussed recent developments.

[Source: Al-Arabiya العربية on 28th July 2015]

Turkey: The offensive against ISIS and PKK intensifies.

The US and Turkey have agreed to work together to drive Islamic State jihadists from northern Syria, a senior US official said Monday, as Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said its military could "change the balance" in the region. Plannings of a Turkish U.S. cooperation should entail Turkey supporting US "partners on the ground" that are already fighting IS extremists.

But many question whether Turkey is more interested in limiting Kurdish capabilities in Syria and Iraq than tackling IS. Turkey has called an extraordinary NATO meeting for Tuesday over its two-pronged cross-border "anti-terror" offensive against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and IS jihadists. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg backed Turkey's right to defend itself but told the BBC Sunday "of course self-defence has to be proportionate".

Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu told a group of Turkish newspaper editors that Ankara's intervention would "change the balance" in the region, but ruled out sending ground troops into Syria. He denied Turkey was worried by Kurdish gains against jihadists in northern Syria, pointing to Ankara's relations with autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan.

Turkey has given the United States the green light to use its Incirlik air base to attack IS after months of tough negotiations. Davutoglu said Ankara's demands for a no-fly zone were addressed "to a certain extent", according to the Hurriyet daily. "Air cover is important, the air protection for the Free Syrian Army and other moderate elements fighting Daesh [i.e. IS]," he said. "If we will not send ground forces -- and that we will not do -- then certain elements that cooperate with us on the ground must be protected," Davutoglu added.

Up to now, direct fighting between Turkey and IS was restricted to some crossing-border shelling, seen as a retaliation for IS targeting Turkish territory. Turkey has already planned to bolster security along its border with Syria following a suspected suicide bombing in the town of Suruc which killed 30 people, most of them students, and left about 100 others wounded, only some days ago on 20th July.

[Source: France 24 / Al-Jazeera on 28th July 2015]


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