SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The US on Thursday urged Turkey to join the fight against advancing Islamic State fighters, who have seized part of the key Syrian border town of Kobane despite US-led air strikes.
In fighting that killed dozens, calls grew for ground action to support Kobane’s beleaguered Kurdish defenders.
But after talks with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara could not be expected to act alone.
“It’s not realistic to expect that Turkey will lead a ground operation on its own,” he said.
There has been disappointment in Washington and elsewhere that Ankara has yet to commit its well-equipped and well-trained forces to the fight against the militants, also known by the acronym ISIL.
Two top US envoys Retired general John Allen and US pointman on Iraq, Brett McGurk, met Thursday in Ankara with Turkish leaders seeking to win their NATO ally’s support to defeat the ISIS group, which has seized a swath of territory in Iraq and Syria.
Washington also announced that a joint US-Turkish military team will meet next week in Ankara to discuss the fight against the Islamist militants.
“There is no question that Turkey is well-positioned to contribute,” in areas including military cooperation, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, while stressing “it’s not a situation where we are making demands”.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian, whose country is a close ally of the Syria, said Tehran was in talks with Turkey on saving Kobane “and we hope it can play an important role”.