US: Turkey Will Let Coalition Forces Use İts Bases Against Militants

incirlik12Turkey will let U.S. and coalition forces use its bases, including a key installation within 100 miles of the Syrian border for operations against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, American defense officials said Sunday.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who has been traveling in South America, has said the U.S. wanted access to the Turkish air bases, including one at Incirlik in southern Turkey, from which to launch strikes against the Islamic militants.

That base is part of the agreement, according to U.S. defense officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss private talks between the Americans and Turks.

Beyond the training and bases, there are other issues the U.S. hopes Turkey will agree to. U.S. officials have not said what all of those would be because discussions are continuing. The militants have taken over large swaths of Iraq and Syria and driven refugees into Turkey.

President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, made clear that the U.S. has not asked “the Turks to send ground forces of their own into Syria.”

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