German and Turkish officials have announced that they will not send fighter jets to Iraq and Syria as part of a coalition effort to conduct air strikes against the Islamic State terror group.Turkey has in addition also refused its airspace for US air missions in Syria against the Islamic State (IS).
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier went as far as to question the logic behind president Obama’s plan to arm the so-called “moderate” Syrian opposition forces. Steinmeier said of Germany’s plans: “We haven’t been asked [to conduct airstrikes against IS, now will we do it. We need to be honest with ourselves in the current situation, we don’t yet have a final, blanket strategy which guarantees that we’ll be successful against ISIS and similar groups.”
Turkish officials said that not only will they not get involved in the airstrikes, but Ankara will reject the US’s request to use its air bases to conduct strikes. “Turkey will not be involved in any armed operation but will entirely concentrate on humanitarian operations,” said a Turkish official to AFP. The official continued, “Turkey will not take part in any combat mission, nor supply weapons.”
Secretary of State John Kerry is set to touch down in Turkey on Friday in hopes of negotiating an agreement for Ankara’s involvement, according to the official.
The Islamic State has in its possession 49 Turkish nationals who were kidnapped from the Turkish consulate in Mosul, Iraq on June 11.
Initially, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Thursday that the UK “will not be taking part of any airstrikes in Syria.” However, those comments were said to be referring to the UK bombing the Assad regime and were not related to the current campaign against the Islamic State, the Guardian reported.
Israel came out in support of the US plan to go after the Islamic State. “Israel fully supports Obama’s call for a unified action against ISIS,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “All civilized countries should stand together in the fight against radical terrorism that sweeps across the Middle East, that sweeps across the world, and we are playing our part in this continued effort,” the Israeli Prime Minister added.