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US Backs Turkish Support for Anti-Assad Rebels in Syria Fighting Daesh

US Backs Turkish Support for Anti-Assad Rebels in Syria Fighting Daesh

The U.S. -led coalition carried out flights in support of Turkish forces near the Islamic State-controlled Syrian town of al-Bab last week but did not carry out air strikes, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said on Tuesday.

The two leaders noted progress in their campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and agreed that "Turkey and the United States must continue to stand united in order to defeat terrorism", the White House said.

"Even though the US-led coalition has failed to keep its promises [pledging air support] in our operation to liberate al-Bab, we will rid the city of Daesh terrorists, no matter what", Erdogan said back then.

"The Russian airstrikes came in support of the Turkey-backed groups as part of a recent agreement to intensify cooperation in the fight against ISIS", al-Jassim reported.

"The cardinal rule of air support is to do no harm", Dorrian said, adding that the aircrews may not have had "good fidelity" on enemy positions.

Defense Minister Fikri Isik warned that there was "serious disappointment" in the USA not providing aerial support for the al-Bab offensive, warning it was harming public support and leading to serious questions among Turkish officials over the status of Incirlik.

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"I don't have the details to offer you about what the way forward will be in al-Bab".

Kaynak said that the Incirlik air base, "used by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the US -led coalition", was "on the government's agenda". Tactical nuclear weapons are believed to be stored at the base, an allegation the Pentagon has always denied.

"In Syria, we hope to finish the operation of al-Bab in a short time", Erdogan said. He recognized that relations with the United States are going through a crisis due to the support of the USA for the People Protection Unit, Kurdish militias from the north of Syria that Anakara regards as a terrorist group.

Relations between Ankara and Washington were also marred by the US' reluctance to approve Turkey's extradition request for exiled Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Erdogan accuses of fomenting the July coup attempt. The US has been very reluctant to back Turkey militarily in the area due to conflict of interests with its partner on the ground, the PKK's Syrian arm the YPG.

That's right, 1,500 U.S. Air Force personnel are now stationed at the base.


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