U.S. Effectively Blocks Turkey from Operating in Syrian Airspace


The Pentagon stated on Monday that Turkey has been removed from the “air tasking order” employed by members of the anti-Islamic State coalition operating in Syria.

This means Turkish planes will have considerable difficulty entering Syrian airspace to support the invasion threatened by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and will not benefit from surveillance data collected by the coalition.

“If you’re not on the air tasking order, it’s really hard to coordinate flights in that area,” explained Pentagon spokeswoman Carla Gleason.

The Defense Department took pains on Monday to make it clear the United States “does not endorse a Turkish operation in northern Syria” and “will not support or be involved in any such operation,” as another Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, put it.

“In conversations between the department and the Turkish military we have consistently stressed that coordination and cooperation were the best path toward security in the area,” Hoffman said.

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