Turkey Moves Forces as British Strike ISIS in Iraq

Turkey, which shares a border with Iraq and Syria, did not participate in the opening airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria last week, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Wednesday to join the fight and defend his country from terrorists as they move closer to the border. “It is not possible that we would tolerate any terrorist organization—neither in our territories nor in the region and the world,” Erdogan declared in a speech to the country’s parliament in Ankara on Wednesday, according to the country’s state news entity. However, allies and other countries should heed Turkey’s “proposals and warnings,” otherwise airstrikes will only delay the dangers of ISIS. Turkey has asked for the US to support “safe zones” to protect Syrians inside of Syria, and though the country has admitted some Kurdish refugees fleeing fighting in the country’s north, it remains wary of Kurdish presence inside of Turkey (Turkey has battled Kurdish separatism within its own borders for decades). Kurdish forces, however, are heavily engaged against ISIS fighters. Late Tuesday, British Royal Air Force Tornado jets performed the first strikes by RAF forces in the anti-ISIS campaign, hitting an ISIS armed vehicle and a “heavy weapon position” that was attacking Kurdish forces in northwest Iraq.