Turkey, US Conclude Talks on Anti-ISIS Operation Plan

August 25, 2015 Updated: August 25, 2015

ANKARA, Turkey—Turkish and U.S. officials have concluded “technical talks” over their cooperation on operations against the ISIS group, Turkey’s foreign minister said Tuesday.

Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters that Turkish and U.S. military officials had sealed an agreement concerning “the procedures and technical details” of their operations. He didn’t provide details, but he has said an extensive, coordinated operation against the militant group would start soon.

“The military authorities have signed off,” Cavusoglu said.

Ending months of reluctance, Turkey last month took on a more front line role in the fight against ISIS. It has carried out raids against ISIS targets in Syria and is allowing a key air base close to the Syrian border to be used in the U.S.-led campaign against the extremists.

The move follows a suicide bombing in July, blamed on ISIS, which killed 33 people in the Turkish border city of Suruc near Syria and an attack on Turkish troops guarding the border, which killed one soldier.

U.S. F-16 jets launched their first airstrikes from the Turkish air base Incirlik this month, hitting one or more ISIS targets. Earlier, the U.S. also began flying armed drones from Incirlik, which is just a short distance from targets in northern Syria.

U.S. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said earlier that Turkish and U.S. officials have been engaged in talks on deepening cooperation on implementing a “strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS and improving security along Turkey’s border with Syria.