Turkey considers buffer zone along its Iraq, Syria border

Daily Sabah reports: Turkey’s military is studying the prospect of establishing a buffer zone along its border with Syria and Iraq amid the escalating threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was quoted as saying yesterday. The government will evaluate the plans and decide whether such a move is necessary, Turkish television stations quoted Erdoğan as telling reporters on his plane as he returned from an official visit to Qatar.

A presidency official confirmed that Erdoğan had made such remarks but did not specify where along the border the zone might be established and gave no further details. “The general staff is carrying out inspections on whether a buffer zone could be viable, but there is nothing concrete yet,” an official said on the condition of anonymity. Turkey, a NATO member and Washington’s key ally in the region, has been reluctant to take part in combat operations against ISIS, or allow the U.S.-led coalition to use its airbases for strikes against the extremists because the group is holding 49 Turkish nationals hostage, including diplomats and children. [Continue reading…]

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