The U.S. said Sunday Turkey will allow coalition forces to use its bases to fight the Islamic State, the Associated Press reported. One of the bases is within 100 miles of the border with Syria. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. wanted access to Turkish air bases, including one at Incirlik in southern Turkey, to launch strikes against militants fighting with the Sunni militant group, also known as ISIS.
The Turkish government also announced this weekend it would help train 2,000 Free Syrian Army soldiers to fight both ISIS and President Bashar Assad's regime forces.
This weekend marked the first time Turkey showed a willingness to help fight ISIS though it has still not agreed to send ground forces into Kobani. The U.S. has been pushing for Turkey to do more to stop ISIS from advancing in Kobani, but so far it has resisted, and asked the U.S. help establish the formation of a buffer zone and no-fly zone.
Susan Rice, President Barack Obama national security adviser, told NBC's "Meet the Press" the U.S. is "continuing to talk to the Turks about other ways that they can play an important role. They are already essential to trying to prevent the flow of foreign fighters" and extremists from exporting oil through Turkey. "So Turkey has many ways it can contribute," she said.
On Sunday, ISIS militants sent reinforcements into Kobani to take on Kurdish military forces and Free Syrian Army rebels. Meanwhile, in Raqqa coalition forces attacked ISIS convoys, killing at least 20 fighters. In respone, ISIS fighters shot back at the airplanes with thermal missiles.