After the United States announced that it was forming a "core coalition" of 10 countries to combat the Islamic State (IS), eyes turned to Turkey. Will Turkey really have a place among the 10 countries listed by Reuters? If so, what role would it play? After the NATO summit in Wales on Sept. 5, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said that the core group will facilitate the formation of a wider and more comprehensive group in the future. US Secretary of State John Kerry said the coalition should be set up in such a way to prevent IS from gaining more territory without having to send in alliance soldiers, by supporting Iraqi security forces and others who are ready to take on IS. He said the red line for everyone is not to launch a ground operation.
According to behind-the-scenes information reported by CNN Turk after the meeting between US President Barack Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ankara is not looking favorably upon the idea of participating in the core group. The daily Cumhuriyet reported that Turkey has reservations and that the Obama-Erdogan meeting agreed that support from Turkey "should be behind the scenes."