The United States is now officially authorized to use two Turkish air bases to carry out airstrikes against the Islamic States in neighboring Syria.
The agreement to use Incerlik and Diyarbakir air bases came after marathon negotiations with the Turkish authorities that have been reluctant to take such a step so far.
A senior official in the Obama administration regarded the agreement as a “game changer” that would considerably boost the US military abilities to carry out more effective airstrikes and aerial surveillance against ISIS targets in Syria.
It came as Turkish forces were reported to have engaged (for the first time) in a direct combat with Islamic State militants ensconced on the borders along Syria.
While Turkey has so far denied US unmanned flights from Incerlik, the newly-reached agreement will allow both air bases for manned flights as well.
The agreement was culminated with a phone call between President Barack Obama and Turkey’s Reccep Tayyep Erdogan on Wednesday where the two countries “have decided to further deepen our cooperation in the fight against ISIL”.
Earlier this week, nearly 32 Kurds have been killed in a suicide attack carried by an ISIS bomber in the bordering town of Suruc.
Turkey has refused accusations to facilitate the flow of extremist militants in order to prevent the Kurds from forming their own state along the frontiers with Syria.