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09:21, 30 September 2015 Wednesday

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Anti-ISIL coalition to step up use of Turkish air base
Anti-ISIL coalition to step up use of Turkish air base

Gen. Philip Breedlove the US commander for Europe has said that the coalition will ramp up activities in coming months

World Bulletin / News Desk

The U.S.-led coalition to combat ISIL will begin to increase its activities at the Incirlik Air Base in southeastern Turkey “in the coming months”, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe said Tuesday.

“The coalition intends to increase the operational footprint in Incirlik in the coming months to step up the fight against ISIL,” Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove said.

Breedlove added that the U.S. Air Force has begun to deploy aircraft and personnel to an air base in Diyarbakir to “better recover” coalition personnel if they are downed while carrying out operations in Iraq and Syria.

Reacting to ongoing instability in Iraq and Syria, and a flare-up in violence between Turkey and the PKK, Breedlove said, “Turkey is confronted by factions of terrorist organizations that threaten their borders not only from the outside but recently as we have seen from the inside as well.

“We stand with our Turks in that every state has the right to defend itself against this terrorism,” he said referring to the PKK terror organization. The comments prompted applause from the audience at the 34th Annual Conference in US.-Turkey relations. "Understanding each other and enhancing our mutual trust and respect has never been more critical.”

Turkey, the U.S. and EU designate the PKK a terrorist organization.

Two Turkish soldiers were killed onTuesday, and three others were injured, when the militants detonated an explosive under a bridge in Turkey’s eastern Hakkari province.

According to Turkish government figures, the PKK has killed approximately 30 civilians since July, while more than 120 members of the security forces have been martyred.

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