The New York Times reports: The United States and Turkey have reached an agreement for manned and unmanned American warplanes to carry out aerial attacks on the Islamic State from two Turkish air bases, Obama administration officials said Thursday.
The agreement on the bases, Incerlik and Diyarbakir, was described by one senior administration official as a “game changer” that would significantly strengthen the American military’s ability to strike at ISIS targets in Syria and carry out extended aerial surveillance. It came after months of negotiations that culminated on Wednesday with a phone call between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, and President Obama, another administration official said.
The development came as Turkish forces were reported to have engaged in the first direct combat with Islamic State forces on the Syrian side of the border. [Continue reading…]