Turkey Goes Against US in Campaign Against ISIS

Fighter jets taxi at the Incirlik air base in Turkey

ANKARA—Turkey will refuse to allow a US-led coalition to attack jihadists in neighboring Iraq and Syria from its air bases, nor will it take part in combat operations against militants, a government official told Agence France-Presse Thursday.

“Turkey will not be involved in any armed operation but will entirely concentrate on humanitarian operations,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

The decision echoes the country’s refusal to allow the US to station 60,000 troops in Turkey in 2003 to invade Iraq from the north, which triggered a crisis between the two allies.

Ankara then also refused Washington permission to use its air bases to attack Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Turkey has come under fire by some critics for encouraging the formation of ISIS because of its support of Islamist opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and its deliberately loose control of its borders.

But Ankara vehemently denies its strategy has backfired.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was to hold talks in Saudi Arabia on Thursday to drum up support from 10 key Arab nations and Turkey, after President Barack Obama announced Washington’s new strategy against ISIS jihadists, which will include air strikes in Syria.

After a lightning advance, ISIS militants now control swathes of Iraq and much of northern Syria along the Turkish border.

Turkey now sees itself a victim of ISIS with Islamist militants holding 49 Turks hostage, including diplomats and children, abducted from the Turkish consulate in Mosul in Iraq on June 11.

Ankara is therefore reluctant to take a stronger role in the coalition against ISIS militants in apparent fear of aggravating the hostage situation.

“Our hands and arms are tied because of the hostages,” the official told AFP.

Turkey can open Incirlik Air Base in the south for logistical and humanitarian operations in any US-led operation, according to the official who stressed that the base would not be used for lethal air strikes.

“Turkey will not take part in any combat mission, nor supply weapons,” he said.

Turkey is the only Muslim country in a coalition of 10 countries who agreed to fight ISIS at the NATO summit in Newport.

Kerry is due to stop over in Turkey on Friday according to the official, although the US embassy in Ankara declined to confirm the visit that comes as part of a regional tour.


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  1. Reader said:

    Not surprised at all about this. Turkey has been the main funder and architect of the ISIS organization. There are thousands of turks fighting for ISIS. Seeing its failure with Assad, Turkey established the ISIS terror organization. Turkey trained, is continuing to train and fund them, provides its territory and hospitals for them. Turkey’s goal here is to weaken its neighbors Syria and Iraq, which will then allow it more flexibility in dealing with them to accomplish its Ottoman ambitions by its ultra islamist leaders Erdogan and Davidoglu. It is time for the Western intelligence agencies to really understand Turkey’s role in all of this, and throw Turkey out of NATO.

  2. Arto said:

    This whole hostage issue is a charade by Turkey. This was set-up so Turkey would have an excuse for not taking any action against ISIL. Why would they? They have supported them and allow them go in about of their borders.

  3. Vindicated Man said:

    Liars, cowards, terrorists… This is their true face. Do I need to add anything?

    • Vindicated Man said:

      And congratulations, NATO. This is a wonderful ally… Opening the eyes wider shouldn’t hurt, IMO.

  4. tommy said:

    Why does US want to bomb Syria? ISIS came and is supported by Turkey. Bomb turkey instead.

  5. Asbet said:

    I congratulate the US & NATO on having “a dependable, reliable & strong ally” in Turkey. In reality their are two faced & useless as usual. US & NATO dream of having “a great ally in Turkey”, they did not even hesitate to give Turkey Patriot Missile Batteries to be protected against possible Syrian attacks. Go ahead America & Europe, give your “moderate, reliable ally” Turkey more aid & weaponry so that they can perpetrate their barbaric policies against their own people (the Kurds) & the neighboring countries. I congratulate America & Europe on their “wise & farsighted” policies in the region.

  6. zarkim said:

    Americans/allies funded, trained and armed Terrorists and encouraged Turkey to breed ISIS. Today, ISIS has mosques and actively trains terrorists in Turkey and enters Iraq/Syria unopposed.
    Americans/allies used to hate ALL terrorists only few years ago. Mr Obama use to threaten to hunt down ALL terrorists and punish them. Americans used to look for any EXCUSE (even if they had to ENVENT one!) to punish ALL terrorists.
    Today, unfortunately Americans/allies have overcome by terrorism and have categorised them as GOOD terrorists (Like Al-Qaeda) and BAD terrorists like ASSAD.
    Turkey has cooperated with ISIS in several ways: Stealing oil, gas, money, weapons from Iraq/Syria; and Using ISIS to attack (Commit acts of genocide to) some minorities like Armenians in KASSAB and Kurds. Using ISIS to abduct and kill innocent people.
    Americans, NATO, allies including Israel are all guilty of supporting Turkey who is still sheltering ISIS. No matter what is the excuse, Turkey should declare ISIS as a terrorist organisation and hand them all to Obama/Putin.
    Today, the whole world is against ISIS except Turkey.
    How dare Americans/allies criticize PUTIN when they have done and still do even worse acts of TERRORISM in Syria/Iraq?
    Mr Obama’s decision to tackle the ISIS problem is welcome news. Mr Obama did not start this act of supporting TERRORISTS in Syria but he has now taken the responsibility of putting right the wrong Americans/allies did before him.
    TURKEY SHOULD BE WATCHED VERY CAREFULLY. Why are they still harbouring ISIS and all other terrorists who enter Syria/Iraq?
    Turkey MUST provide the full details of all TERRORISTS who have entered into Syria/Iraq from Turkey.
    Please do not wait until PUTIN decides to do something about TURKEY. It will not be a PREETY SIGHT.
    Mr Obama is in charge now and should set a good example to all by his forthcoming decisions.
    Terrorists are terrorists, there are no GOOD TERROTISTS. Help Syria. Assad is an angle comparing to Turkish Erdogan. EVERY DOG HAS ITAS DAY, effendY!

    • hidi said:

      **** Zarkim…, I totally agree with your comments., on the mark., yes ” TURKEY SHOULD BE WATCHED VERY CAREFULLY indeed..!!! they are dirty players no matter what, the west should wake up to this conniving terrorist sporting land steeling country before it is to late ., kick them out of NATO first., and then we will see how are they going to play the Muslim card.

      • zarkim said:

        Howdy hidi
        Thanks for your comment hayrenakiz.
        Please try to read between the lines. Americans/allies/NATO, Israel KNOW what kind of people Turks are. Don’t let them play NAIVE.
        They know the Turks and prefer them to act the way they act. It is all part of the game they play. Turkey must play the game or burn from both fires.
        Make no mistake – Turkish TERRORIST act in KASSAB was very much endorsed by Uncle Sam.

  7. GeorgeMardig said:

    …. “Our hands and arms are tied because of the hostages,” … very good excuse, TURKEY got used for free lunch, it’s the US’ wrong policies that fianced Turkey’s economy with American tax payers money and in return got only betrayal, in Irak, Syria, Iran, the LIST GOES ON

  8. Alex Postallian said:

    Now we know the TRUTH…After our diplomatic corps,and politicians,got the payoff from jerky turkey mis lead the U.S,kissed jerkys rear end…We suffer,our ally jerky is at the bottom of all the trouble makers in the Middle East…

  9. AraK said:

    How long will take for the US to see the true colours of Turkey??? For the last 2 WWs Turkey was clever and successful (in the last moment) to be on the winning side.
    I wonder what will be her situation in the near future…

  10. Hagop D said:

    Makes one wonder if, as usual, Turkey is pulling the wool over America’s eyes. There should be an investigation if those supposed “Turkish hostages” were actually not a plan by the Turkish government itself. That’s how they typically operate, under false pretexts.

    • Hagop D said:

      So that Turkey could show the local jihadists that Turkey is not against them, and they have been supplying them transport and weaponry all this time as good friendly neighbors, Turkey and Isis.

  11. Armenian said:

    I wonder if the US is kicking itself now for not going the extra mile and pushing for the creation of Wilsonian Armenia. We could have been the only Western-minded, self-reliant and committed US military ally in the region that would never be subject to the types of religion-oriented instability that Turkey seems to constantly be involved in. It’s rather obvious that Turkey is contributing to the success of ISIS. Maybe if Armenians play their cards right and position themselves correctly, like the Kurds who are inching closer and closer to getting their own state, something could be done in this regard. This could bring us closer to the West and further from Russia.

  12. GeorgeMardig said:

    They are all dancing together: US+TURKEY+ISRAEL+ISIS+Qatar++++ they are all in this to stop Russia and China.

  13. zarkim said:

    Mr Obama has promised that he will get all ISIS terrorists. There is no where they can hide from him. However Mr Obama only mentions the ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Somehow, he overlooks the ones in TURKEY… ISIS is very active in Turkey.
    MAKE NO MISTAKE, Mr Obama is going to make Christians safe in Syria/Iraq and he is not going to endanger them by tackling the problem in the WRONG WAY.
    Mr Obama is going to WIN THE FUTURE by letting Turkey know that harbouring ISIS is against the UN and NATO rules and that Turkey’s membership of NATO and UN will be cancelled if they keep cooperating with ISIS.
    HERE’S THE DEAL, Mr Obama should eliminate ISIS from all areas including TURKEY and INVADE Turkey to liberate it from the dictator – Like they did to Iraq.

    LET ME BE CLEAR, Turkey should not be allowed to send terrorists to neighbouring countries like Syria (KASSAB) and terrorise Christians. How can Mr Obama miss this detail before threatening to eliminate ISIS?
    I know, IT WILL NOT BE EASY, for Mr Obama to please all of the people, all of the time but promise is a promise.
    Mr Obama used to hate terrorists. US/allies used to look for any excuse (Even if they had to INVENT one!) to “punish” terrorists like SADDAM. Now, unfortunately Americans have decided to tolerate some terrorists and call them GOOD GUYS like Al-Qaeda.
    Mr Obama is in charge now and is going to get all these terrorists. TURKEY has nowhere to hide anymore.
    Turkey MUST provide the full details of all ISIS in Turkey (And hand them all over to Obama) and full details of all others that have entered into Syria/Iraq from Turkey – Or – face Mr Obama’s fury!
    Just in case Mr Obama does not remember, Americans/allies funded, trained and encouraged Turkey to shelter ISIS. So, they know where to look…
    And, THERE WILL BE COSTS/consequences if Turkey does not play ball!

  14. Abel said:

    Ինչպես ասում են ձուկը գլխից է հոտած, սա այն մեկն է, որը խոստացավ ընդունել հայերի ցեղասպանության փաստը և ուրացավ 2008-ին, երբ ընտրվեց:
    Սրա և սրա հետնորդների ստրատեգիայի պատճառով է, որ այսօր աշխարհը կանգնած այս սրիկա ISIS-ի փաստի առաջ:

  15. Avetis said:

    The world strongly condemns the destruction of Iraq, Libya and Syria by Western powers. Armenia’s future is with the Russian nation. No Russia in the south Caucasus = no Armenia in the south Caucasus. Armenia will remain vulnerable as long as it continues its flirtations with Western powers and allows westerners (including Diasporans) to engage in political activism.

    • Tim said:


      If the USA does not have the moral courage to publicly display the “Orphan’s Carpet” in the White House because somewhere in Turkey, someone will be offended, it is delusional to believe that the USA will have the moral courage to send in Marines and Paratroopers to build a wall on an Armenian boarder to protect Armenians from an Islamic Tsunami. An example that anyone can see is how the news has been slanted against Russia with regards to Sevastopol. Like it or not, if it were not for Russia, Sevastopol would still be part of Russia. It wasn’t Washington D.C. that forced Turkey to the table in 1878. And, from 1678 to 1878, Turkey and Russia fought about 10 wars. By 1915, Turkey did not want to pick another fight with Russia, so their army would only go just so far “that way.” That was what saved that part of Armenia not “American-Armenia” relations. Unfortunately, Avetic, it is a big stone to swallow, but at this point I have to swallow what you are saying.

    • Tim said:

      Should have been:

      ” Like it or not, if it were not for Russia, Sevastopol would still be part of Turkey.” Apologies.

  16. Tim said:

    Turkey is an ally like a bicycle is a rocketship. Sure, if you peddle it fast enough, but on what planet would we have to go to find someone who could get one to go that fast? Turkey cannot help the USA against ISIL because that would be formal recognition that Turkey formally condemns Islamic Terrorism. That would open a box that their nation doesn’t have the moral courage to lift the lid. So rather than open the box they just add another nail to the lid.