US defense chief seeks more Turkish help against Islamic State

December 15, 2015 11:19

INCIRLIK, Turkey- US Defense Secretary Ash Carter urged Turkey on Tuesday to do more to help destroy Islamic State militants as he kicked off a tour of the Middle East that aims to drum up regional support for the military campaign.

Speaking during a visit to the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, Carter said Ankara needed to better control its border with Syria, particularly a roughly 60-mile stretch believed to be used by Islamic State for illicit trade and for shuttling foreign fighters back and forth."Turkey has an enormous role to play," said Carter, on his first trip to Incirlik as defense secretary. "We appreciate what they're doing. We want them to do more."

That includes Turkish forces joining "in the air and the ground as appropriate," Carter told reporters traveling with him. "The single most important contribution that their geography makes necessary is the control of their own border."

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