Friday 24 July 2015

Air strikes against Syria

Turkey Permits U.S. To Use Its Airbase For Air Strikes Against Syria

© Umit Bektas
23 July, 2015

Earlier we reported that in an apparent retaliation against Monday's alleged suicide bombing and today's follow up killing of a Turkish soldier on the border with Syria, the Turkish army launched what under normal conditions would be deemed a land invasion of Turkey when four of its tanks entered Syrian territory. Rhetorically, we asked in "one may wonder if NATO-member Turkey's land invasion of Syria, which many have said was long overdue following months of rhetoric and belligerent posturing, under the pretext of ISIS "liberation", has just begun."

A following report from the WSJ largely answers our question: citing unnamed defense officials, WSJ reports that after months of negotiations, "Turkey has agreed to let the U.S. military carry out airstrikes against Islamic State fighters from a U.S. air base near the Syrian border."

This is the same authoritarian president who has repeatedly cracked down against protesters using various less than media friendly means, and one whom Obama has lashed out at diplomatically. It appears that when pursuing grander visions, Obama is will to forgive anyone's humanitarian record, or lack thereof, and do anything to achieve America's real politik ambitions. 

Like in this case: the deal, agreed to by President Barack Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will allow the U.S. to use Incirlik Air Base in eastern Turkey to send manned and unmanned planes to attack Islamic State fighters, the officials said. The two leaders spoke on Wednesday, the White House said.

Use of Incirlik is part of a broader deal between the U.S. and Turkey to deepen their cooperation in the fight against Islamic State that is growing increasingly perilous for Turkey.
On Thursday, Islamic State forces in Syria and the Turkish military engaged in a deadly cross-border battle that left at least one Turkish officer dead.
They’re in a counter-ISIL fight right across the border,” said one defense official, using one of the acronyms for Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS.

And with that the northern wing of the anti-Syria, pardon anti-ISIS campaign is complete, with the US covering air sorties while Turkey will use NATO tanks to secure the ground and slowly but surely, together with the eastern front where the US will soon deplay troops, close in on Damascus to eliminate the biggest Syrian ISIS threat of them all: president Assad and his (and the Kremlin's) stern anti-Qatar pipeline position.

Turkey’s air force has conducted airstrikes on Syrian territory, hitting three Islamic State targets, according to the prime minister’s office. The cross-border strike was reportedly carried out without violating Syrian airspace.

The operation was conducted by three Turkish F-16 jets which successfully hit three targets within Syria, Reuters reported citing PM Ahmet Davutoglu's office.

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