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Turkey a 'critical partner' in Daesh fight: US

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‘We appreciate the concrete support Turkey provides to the international coalition,’ US official tells Anadolu Agency

Turkey is an incredibly important ally in the fight against Daesh, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

“Turkey is a critical partner in fighting ISIL, and we appreciate the concrete support Turkey provides to the international coalition across the many lines of effort,” National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey said in an email to Anadolu Agency one day after an explosion killed more than 30 people in southeastern Turkey.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the suspect behind the bombing “mostly likely” had links to Daesh.

Baskey noted Turkey’s “many important steps” in fighting the terrorist group, including the efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters within the country, Turkey’s hosting of a site for training members of the moderate Syrian opposition, and its “humanitarian effort to assist the nearly 2 million refugees it has received in this crisis”.

Turkey has also deported roughly 1,600 foreign nationals who have been found to have links with Daesh since October 2013, when the extremists were listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, according to Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin.

The U.S. has assembled a coalition of 60 nations, including Turkey and Arab states, to combat Daesh by carrying out airstrikes against the militants and training local forces in Iraq, and Syrian forces in sites across the region.

At the State Department, spokesman John Kirby told reporters that all members of the anti-Daesh coalition, including Turkey, are contributing to their abilities.

“Every member of the coalition brings to this fight what they can, when they can, where they can, and we’re grateful for that support, including Turkey, which is not just a coalition member, but a NATO ally,” Kirby said.

Resource: Anadolu Agency, July 22, 2015

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