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Turkey abstains on US coalition against Islamic State

Turkey’s caveat on the Islamic State; Russia’s Syria cards; Iran on outside of US coalition; the US turnaround on the Syrian opposition; Al-Monitor’s first long-form piece.

Visits to Ankara by both US Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel last week failed to persuade Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to step up as a "core" member of a US-led "broad coalition of partners” against the Islamic State (IS), which US President Barack Obama announced on Sept. 10.

While US officials said that Turkey has, finally, begun to crack down on foreign fighters entering Syria, the circumspect response by Erdogan to separate appeals by both Kerry and Hagel can only be characterized as a setback for the rollout of US President Barack Obama’s regional strategy against IS.

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