According to The Associated Press in Turkey, NATO allies Turkey and the United States differed substantively on Monday (October 13) as to where they stand on the use of a key air base, with Turkish officials denying reports from the United States that there was a new agreement on its use for operations against IS militants.
The US has been pressing Turkey to play a larger role against IS militants, who have taken control of large swaths of Syria and Iraq, including territory on Turkey's border, and sent several hundred thousand refugees fleeing into Turkey.
The impasse suggests that major differences remain between the two sides. Turkey has said it won't join the fight against the extremists unless the US-led coalition also goes after the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, including establishing a no-fly zone and a buffer zone along the Turkish border.
US officials said again Monday that Turkey would let US and coalition forces use its bases, including Incirlik air base, which is within 100 miles (160 kilometers) of the Syrian border, for operations against IS militants in Syria and Iraq. The officials said the details are still being worked out.
However, emerging Monday from a Cabinet meeting, Turkey's deputy prime minister, Bulent Arinc, said that "apart from the existing cooperation in combating terrorism, there is no new situation concerning Incirlik Air Base."
The deputy premier added that Turkey had proposed the use of some of its bases to train and equip moderate opposition forces fighting IS militants in Iraq and Syria, but said the sides had not yet come to an agreement.
COMMENT: Although previously promised by Washington, the Kurds are not nearly as well-equipped as is IS, which continues to tip on favor of IS. Very strangely, why has Washington not fortified the Kurds who are from all indications, very able and efficient combatants?
"He said that there is a consensus especially on train and equip program. But still many issues are pending and many issues are being discussed between the US and Turkey. This includes creation of a safe zone, and creation of a no fly zone as well," Bilgic told reporters.
IS militants were carrying out a three-pronged attack from the eastern side of Kobani and that clashes were also occurring in the south.
The Syrian Kurdish enclave has been the scene of heavy fighting since late last month, with the infinitely better-armed IS fighters determined to capture the border post.