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'Turkish bases available' for US-led air campaign against ISIL

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'Turkish bases available' for US-led air campaign against ISIL


As Kurdish defenders battle ISIL on the ground in the Syrian border town of Kobani, the American-led air campaign has been given permission to use Turkish bases, according to US National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

Turkey won’t engage in military action itself unless the coalition also confronts Syrian President Assad.

“We have not asked for the Turks to send ground forces of their own into Syria,” Rice told NBC’s “Meet the Press” programme.

She also talked down any speculation about the deployment of US ground troops.

“This is not a campaign that requires or even would benefit from American ground troops in combat again. The Iraqi prime minister, the government of Iraq, have said very plainly they don’t want American troops in combat,” Rice said.

The top US military officer though, General Martin Dempsey, has suggested that Washington could increase its role “advising and assisting” Iraqi troops on the ground in the future.

Turkey says there is no new deal to let the US use its Incirlik air base in the fight against the militants. Sources at the Turkish Prime Minister’s office insist that talks are ongoing.

Turkish tanks continue to look on as gun battles rage in mainly Kurdish Kobani.

Ankara’s refusal to intervene has infuriated Turkey’s own Kurdish minority which rose up in the past week in rioting in which 38 people were killed.

On Sunday Iraq saw dozens of deaths when the jihadists struck in a series of bombings in a Kurdish-controlled town in the north. A blast also claimed the life of a provincial police commander in the West.

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