Istanbul, July 7 () - A high-level U.S. security official has arrived in Ankara to launch political and military talks with the Turkish government for the joint fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.
“General [John] Allen is leading the delegation. He will be meeting with senior Turkish political and security officials on the ongoing cooperation to degrade and defeat ISIL,” a source said July 7.
Allen is the special coordinator of U.S. President Barack Obama in the fight against ISIL.
The general and the delegation are expected to meet with the undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, Feridun Sinirlioğlu, and other senior officials. The meeting comes after Turkey reinforced its military presence on the Syrian border in a bid to deter ISIL’s advance on northwestern Syria, which is under the ostensible control of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
The talks are expected to focus on the use of Turkish military bases, such as İncirlik, and Turkish airspace by U.S. warplanes to strike ISIL targets in northern Syria.