Turkey launches first air strikes against ISIS in Syria

Following a formal agreement signed at the beginning of the week, Turkey launched its first air strikes against ISIS in Syria in a mission which began on Friday.

Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the country had joined the US-led coalition against ISIS by signing an agreement on Monday. The ministry said that the ISIS targets were a threat to national security.

This is the first time that Turkish war planes bombed ISIS positions in Syria as part of a coalition force. Last month, Turkey, in a unilateral effort, launched airstrikes over Syria. However, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that no planes entered Syrian airspace.

Turkey also permitted the US to launch manned air strikes from Incirlik Air Base against ISIS forces in Syria earlier this month.

Spokesman for the Pentagon Peter Cook, said that Turkey’s air strikes were integrated into a coalition management system for air operations.

“We commend Turkey for its participation in counter-ISIL air operations alongside other Coalition nations in the international campaign to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL,” he said, using an alternative acronym for ISIS.

The change in Turkey’s policy comes from intense international pressure and the attack in July by an alleged ISIS suicide bomber in Suruc, close to the Syrian border. 34 people, including the bomber, died in the attack.


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