Obama, Erdogan agree to 'deepen' cooperation in Daesh fight
Defense official confirms U.S. will now be able to use Turkish bases, including its air base at Incirlik

A Pentagon official has confirmed Thursday that Washington will be able to use Turkey’s Incirlik air base to fight Daesh.

The news came as the presidents of Turkey and the U.S. agreed to "deepen” cooperation in the fight against the Daesh militant group.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Barack Obama discussed ways to strengthen the fight against the militants but White House spokesman Josh Earnest said he was not able to talk about those issues because of "specific operational security concerns".

Earnest acknowledged that the anti-Daesh coalition has used a number of bases in the Middle East and Europe, "but for operational security reasons, I can't get into which bases are used for which purpose."

Speaking on condition that their name not be made public, a defense official confirmed that the U.S. will now be able to use Turkish bases, including its air base at Incirlik to fight Daesh.

Washington has been seeking use of Incirlik as it is the U.S.'s closest air base its has to northern Syria where the extremists have gained considerable ground despite recent setbacks.

The conversation between Obama and Erdogan on Wednesday came after the murders of two Turkish policemen -- for which the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has claimed responsibility -- and a deadly suicide bombing in Suruc on Monday that killed 32 victims. Both incidents took place in Turkey’s southeastern Sanliurfa province, near the Syrian border.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said the suspect in the Suruc attack "most likely" had links to Daesh.

On Thursday, gunfire from the Syrian side of the border killed one officer and wounded two sergeants in Turkey's southern city of Kilis.

The Turkish General Staff confirmed the casualties in a written statement, which said five militants had opened fire on Turkish troops from a Daesh-controlled Syrian border region.

The Turkish military responded by sending tanks and armored vehicles to its border.

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Last Modified: 2015-07-24 06:04:08
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