Turkey jumps into the fight against Islamic State with a major policy change that allows the U.S. to use Turkish air bases from which to launch coalition air strikes. Nathan Frandino reports.
Turkey's border with Syria is seeing new action this week after officials confirmed Turkish air strikes against Islamic State. The raids are a first for Turkey with President Tayyip Erdogan promising more decisive action against the jihadists and Kurdish militants at home. The action comes as Ankara approves use of an air base for U.S. and coalition aircraft, marking a major change in policy. Deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner says the base decision was part of a plan to step up cooperation. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPUTY STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN, MARK TONER, SAYING: "Turkey is a strong ally, a vital partner in this fight and they have stepped up in many ways including assisting with refugees coming over the border. But you know there is a recognition that its border security is threatened by ISIL and we see ISIL as a common enemy and there is no disagreement on that. So we're looking at ways that we can strengthen that cooperation." The ability to fly manned bombing raids out of Turkey against targets in nearby Syria could be a big advantage. Such flights have had to fly mainly from the Gulf.