US, Turkey to work together to clear IS in Syria and Iraq
The United States and Turkey have agreed to work together to clear Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants from northern Syria by forming an “ISIL-free zone,” a U.S. official said on July 27.
“The goal is to establish an ISIL-free zone and ensure greater security and stability along Turkey’s border with Syria,” the official announced.
This matched an action plan earlier reported by Hürriyet Daily News Ankara bureau chief Serkan Demirtaş on July 25.
The plan was part of a comprehensive deal between the two allies which has been seen a “a game changer”in the fight against ISIL by the United States administration, whose warplanes will be able to use this region’s most strategic military base in İncirlik as part of its aerial campaign against jihadist positions, the Daily News report had said.
The ISIL-free zone will be 98 kilometers long and 40 kilometers wide and situated between the Mare-Jarablus line. A good portion of this area is currently under ISIL control, and Turkey already vowed it would not tolerate the jihadists posing a threat to the Turkish border.