Vladimir Putin’s Next European Front

Commentaries and Op-eds April 6, 2016, Wall Street Journal

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter today offered reassurances Turkey’s alliance with the US and NATO, and Turkey’s commitment to counter-Islamic State fight, are all still strong following a failed military coup. But experts believe that the relationship between Ankara and Washington is now in a fragile state, which could boil over into the fight against the militant group, commonly known as ISIS or ISIL.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday following a counter-ISIS coalition meeting at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, Carter affirmed the relationship between the two nations, which plays a key role in the US-led war to oust the Islamic State from Iraq and Syria.

Dozens of top military officials from allied nations attended the meeting, with the notable exception of Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık, who after a late pull out held a phone conversation with Carter earlier this week.

The purpose of the call was for Carter to tell Isik “I was glad he was safe and that his ministry was functioning, which he assured me that it was, and obviously to tell him I had been concerned for him and we support the democratically elected government of Turkey,” Carter said. ”He assured me first, very clearly, that nothing that happened over the weekend will interrupt their support for our collective counter-ISIL campaign.”

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