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Turkey to allow its military bases for US

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with visiting United States Secretary of State John Kerry at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan  meets with visiting United States Secretary of State John Kerry at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with visiting United States Secretary of State John Kerry at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey. FILE PHOTO

Turkey will allow the US-led international coalition the use of its military bases for carrying out airstrikes against the Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria, US President Barack Obama’s chief security advisor has said.

“It is a new commitment and we welcome it with great satisfaction,” Susan Rice, Obama’s national security advisor, told the NBC network Sunday.

According to Rice, the coalition forces may also use Turkish territory to train rebel groups of the moderate Syrian opposition.

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said last week that the use of the Turkish military bases was one of the key demands of Washington in its fight against the IS.

It is expected that a defence team will make a trip to Turkey this week to finalise the details of the agreement.

The city of Kobane, one of the three main Kurdish enclaves in Syria, has been a target of an IS offensive since Sep 16, forcing thousands of people to flee to Turkey.

The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staffs, Gen. Martin Dempsey, warned last week that it was possible that Kobane, on the border with Turkey, would be seized by the IS within the next few days.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted Sunday that Kobane was not his country’s responsibility and called those who accused him of supporting the IS traitors.