US-led Coalition Helping Turkey Find Missing Soldiers in Syria

turkish-tanks-border-1500-ts600The United States-led coalition against ISIS is helping Turkey find two of its soldiers who have gone missing in Syria, said a deputy commander of the coalition.

“Turkey is an important ally to us as a NATO partner and as a member of the coalition, and therefore we are supporting Turkey to trying to recover their two individuals,” said British Army Maj. Gen. Rupert Jones on Wednesday, according to Hurriyet news.

Jones did not elaborate on his comment.

On Tuesday, Turkish soldiers participating in Ankara’s Euphrates Shield operation in Syria went missing. The ISIS-affiliated Amaq news outlet claimed that the militants have snatched the two soldiers and are holding them hostage.

Turkey is backing an army of Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels who are currently advancing on the ISIS-held city of al-Bab in northwestern Syria. The US-led coalition is not lending support to this operation, likely given the risk that it will lead to a clash with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which is also advancing toward al-Bab.

The US-led coalition is, however, backing the SDF’s offensive against ISIS in Raqqa that was launched last month.