US Secretary of State John Kerry says Turkey will take part in the US-led coalition against ISIL on its own timetable, befogging the two countries’ stance on the fight against terrorists even further.
“I’m confident that that is going to be further defined by Turkey itself on their timetable,” Kerry said at a press conference in Paris on Tuesday, while answering to a question about Ankara’s role in battle against the terrorist group.
On Monday, Ankara denied that it had agreed to allow US to use the country’s air bases to strike ISIL as claimed by White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice over the weekend.
“As far as I know there is no discrepancy with respect to what is going on,” Kerry said.
He went on to say that Turkey “certainly has allowed the use of certain facilities,” and that it was not necessary to “get into specifics.”
Turkey refuses to intervene along its border with Syria where ISIL militants have besieged the mainly Kurdish town of Kobani.
Commenting on the report international lawyer Barry Grossman said, “The US and Turkey can’t seem to get their story straight, so instead they make it opaque. Maybe there is no discrepancy between the Turkish and US agendas but there is clearly a discrepancy in what senior US officials are saying about it.”
“In any case, if there is no conflict between Turkey’s position and the US position, then that is tantamount to conceding that like Turkey, the US sees the Kurds as a threat and, in any case, is more concerned to get [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad than to stop ISIL,” he added.
The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, control large parts of Syria’s northern territory. The ISIL sent its militants into Iraq in June, quickly seizing vast expanse of land straddling the border between the two countries.
They have threatened all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Izadi Kurds and others, as they continue their atrocities in Iraq.
US President Barack Obama authorized airstrikes on ISIL targets in Iraq in mid-August after Washington’s interests were threatened in the crisis-hit country. Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Britain, France and Australia have also joined the US military campaign in Iraq.
Since September 23, the US and some of its Arab allies — Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates — have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.