Turkey Preparing for "Comprehensive Battle" Against IS

Turkey Preparing for  "Comprehensive Battle" Against ISTurkey Preparing for  "Comprehensive Battle" Against IS

Turkey said on Wednesday a US-led coalition will soon launch a "comprehensive battle" against Islamic State militants from Turkish air bases, but Syria said any military action not coordinated with Damascus would breach its sovereignty.

"As part of our agreement with the US, we have made progress regarding the opening up of our bases, particularly Incirlik," Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told state broadcaster TRT, referring to a major air base near the southern city of Adana, Reuters reported. "We're seeing that manned and unmanned American planes are arriving and soon we will launch a comprehensive battle against IS all together."

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Wednesday that Syria supported efforts to combat IS, provided they were coordinated with Damascus.

"For us in Syria, there is no moderate opposition and immoderate opposition. Whoever carries weapons against the state is a terrorist … The US contacted us before they sent in this group and said they are fighting against IS and not the Syrian Army."

  Qatar Backs Turkey Bombings

Qatar has broken ranks with the Arab League to give close ally Turkey its full support for airstrikes in northern Iraq, according to an official foreign ministry statement.

On Tuesday, the Arab League condemned Turkey's actions and called on Ankara to recognize the sovereignty of Iraq. But in the statement released by Qatar's official news agency late on Tuesday, Doha distanced itself from the Arab League declaration.

"The statement issued ... on behalf of the Arab League was not discussed with the League member-states," it read. "Qatar reiterated its full solidarity with the Republic of Turkey for its actions and measures to protect its borders and preservation of its security and stability." Ankara has launched a two-pronged offensive against IS in Syria and the Kurdistan Workers' Party camps in Iraq, but so far the bombardments have focused far more on the Kurdish forces. Iraqi Kurdish officials claim civilians were killed during the raids.