US Strikes IS Fighters in Syria From Turkey
- VOA News,August 6, 2015
The Pentagon says U.S. forces in Turkey have carried out their first strike against Islamic State fighters in Syria.
U.S. military officials said the first cross-border strike from Turkey was carried out by an unmanned drone aircraft Wednesday — the same day that American drones and other warplanes began arriving at an air base in southern Turkey.
Turkey and the United States are planning joint military action to clear IS militants from an area of Syria near the Turkish border.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced the joint action, saying he anticipates "an extensive battle" against Islamic State extremists would reduce the threat IS poses to moderate opposition forces fighting in Syria's civil war.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Cavusoglu discussed the situation around Syria during a meeting Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur, where both were attending an Asia regional summit.
Kerry also met with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, who was quoted as saying Islamic State is the "common threat" for everyone in the region. However, Lavrov said there has been no joint approach on fighting the Islamic militants because of what he called a "standoff" among the various forces in Syria, including rebel factions.
Lavrov and Kerry agreed that U.S. and Russian officials would continue to meet about dealing with IS.
Moscow is a supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and has been trying to forge a regional alliance against the militants. Washington has backed moderate Syrian rebels fighting the Assad government.