Turkey Denies U.S. Permission for Combat Attacks on ISIL

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan / AP

Turkey will not allow a U.S.-led coalition to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Iraq and Syria from Turkish air bases, AFP reports.

Turkey will also not participate in combat operations but will instead focus on humanitarian aid to the countries. ISIL currently controls large portions of territory in Iraq and Syria along Turkey’s borders.

" Turkey will not be involved in any armed operation but will entirely concentrate on humanitarian operations," a government official told AFP.

Turkey has come under fire by some critics for indirectly encouraging the formation of ISIS because of its support of Islamist opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and its loose control of its borders.

Turkey is reluctant to attack ISIL due to the high number of Turkish hostages ISIL is holding, according to AFP.

"Our hands and arms are tied because of the hostages," the official told AFP.

Turkey can open Incirlik Air Base in the south for logistical and humanitarian operations in any US-led operation, according to the official who stressed that the base would not be used for lethal air strikes.