ANKARA - US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will sound out Turkish leaders on Monday on "how far they're willing to go" in a US-led coalition against Islamic State despite the militant group's holding of Turkish hostages and domestic security fears, a US official said.
Turkey was the only Muslim nation in a "core coalition" of 10 countries which met on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Newport, Wales last week. President Barack Obama said he would welcome Ankara's cooperation after meeting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday.
Hagel hopes to follow up on that conversation in talks today with Erdogan, as well as Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz. More high-level US officials are expected to visit in the coming weeks.