Pentagon officials have confirmed that the first US drone strike carried out from Turkish soil against ISIS was launched on Tuesday. This is the first lethal flight out of Turkish airbases since a deal to give US planes access to those bases from which to launch attacks.
The strike was carried out against an ISIS target inside Syria, though the Pentagon declined to say what that target was, or whether it was successful. The US launches a number of strikes against ISIS in both Syria and Iraq daily, but from more remote bases.
Turkey agreed to open up two bases to the US last month, after cross-border fighting between Turkey and ISIS forces. The US had so far only launched surveillance drones from those bases, until this newest flight. There were reports of disagreements over how the bases are to be used.
Most US strikes against ISIS in Syria are done to support the Kurdish YPG, the primary force fighting against ISIS in northeastern Syria. Turkey has condemned that, and has threatened war against the YPG, which means they don’t want the bases used to strengthen the position of that force.
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