As part of the United States led coalition against ISIS, Turkey began to launch its first airstrikes against the terror group, according to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ministry said that the Turkish air forces were participating in the airstrikes as part of a formalized coalitions operations agreement, which was signed on Monday. It was because of this framework in the agreement that Turkey and coalition aircrafts began the join operations Friday night in Syria against ISIS targets.
The targets had all been deemed a security threat for Turkey, at least that is what the ministry believed. The warplanes from Turkey bombed ISIS in Syria for the first time at the of July, but the airstrikes were part of a unilateral effort at that time and not part of the coalition led by the United States. The Turkish Prime Minister said that the July airstrikes were done without even going into the Syrian airspace. Peter Cook, the Pentagon spokesman, said that the Turkish Air Force strikes were integrated fully into the systems for managing the coalition air operations. He then went onto say that the White House was glad Turkey had decided to participate in the air operations against ISIS alongside other nations in the international campaign to help degrade and then defeat the terror group, which is known as both ISIS and ISIL.
This is definitely a change for Turkey, after the country has spent months being reluctant to act against the group. This stance change is followed by a lot of international pressure and then an attack last month that occurred in the Turkish town of Suruc, which was carried out by an alleged ISIS suicide bomber. This suicide bombing killed 33 innocent people and the suicide bomber, making the total deaths from this attack at 34.
Another good part about Turkey now being involved is that it allows the United States to launch the manned airstrikes from within a base in Turkey, and this has already happened once earlier this month. Using this base in Turkey really helps the United States send airstrikes against the ISIS targets from a more secure zone, but that is closer to where the action is going down in Syria. So there is a definite advantage for the American forces when they can go into the base and use the manned airstrikes as opposed to just mostly relying on other aircrafts such as drones, which are often flown from many miles away into Syria. It also helps because if something breaks out in Syria, America can quickly get to the action without having to spend hours traveling to the location from outside of the area. This is also a good thing because it just means that yet another country is tired of ISIS and the terror the group is causing millions of people from all over the world. If more countries are willing to begin to fight ISIS then there is more of a chance the group will be dismantled and killed off, rather than countries allowing these terrorists to stay within their borders without consequences. That also helps with trade relations and agreements with other countries because it shows that all of these other countries are willing to stand behind the United States and fight off ISIS, which is one of the most important and devastating terrorist groups of our time. The more countries stand behind America and fight, the better the relationships will be between the United States and the Middle East. For Turkey, there is a huge need to help the United States defeat ISIS, especially in Syria, because as Turkey has already seen, ISIS is willing to go after that country, and Turkey does not have all of the capabilities America has when it comes to fighting off terrorists, and also the United States has the better technology, which can help quickly knock out the leaders with drone strikes, and that saves lives of troops who don’t have to be in the area to fight.