Just a few days after ISIS freed its Turkish hostages, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that he is considering expanding Turkey’s role in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State by increasing military and logistical assistance to the coalition forces.
“We will give the necessary support to the operation. The support could be military or logistics,” Erdogan told Turkish reporters at the sidelines of the United Nations General assembly in New York, The Guardian reported.
Turkey, a U.S. and NATO ally, has declined a role in the coalition except for the humanitarian aid it provides to neighboring Syria because of the 46 Turks held by the Islamic State, who were all freed Saturday. The release is a major game changer in the country’s potential role in the alliance.
Meanwhile, a key, previously unused, US base lies in the country’s southern town of Incirlik, because the Turkish government would not allow it.
Erdogan’s recent comments may shift Turkey’s potential role in the fight against the militants, especially since the country is being used as a gateway by foreign jihadists to enter and exit the war zone in Syria.
“Of course, we will do our part. God willing, we will also discuss it together with our government,” Erdogan told reporters according to Turkey’s DHA news agency. He said such consideration “includes everything, both military and political.”