himars_-_missile_launched.jpg
Photograph: U.S. Army

The United States will deploy a mobile rocket system in Turkey along the Syrian border beginning in May to assist in the fight against Islamic State, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusolgu said Tuesday.

US defence official Colonel Steve Warren confirmed the HIMARS - High Mobility Artillery Rocket System - deployment to dpa.

Cavusolgu made the remarks during a visit to the United Arab Emirates, according to pro-government Haberturk newspaper.

The HIMARS system has a longer range than systems that the Turkish military possesses and would be a more effective weapon against Islamic State militants in neighboring Syria.

Cavusoglu did not say exactly where and when the deployment will occur, which was echoed by a US general in Baghdad.

"We will be bringing a system into Turkey, with the coordination of the Turkish government, our great partners," US Air Force General Peter Gersten said Tuesday in Baghdad.

"I will keep the operational security of its location, how many and how we're going to use them to a classified level. So, rest assured that our strong partners in Turkey against this fight against [Islamic State] are absolutely fully involved in the operation as it goes forward."

"It's a mobile system, very agile, and we'll put it where we need," Gersten said.

"The HIMARS is simply one of many systems that the coalition is bringing to fight this enemy. We have fighters, we have remotely piloted aircraft, we have cyber, and now we have HIMARS," Gersten said.

In recent months the Turkish border town of Kilis has been subject to repeated rocket attack, presumably from Islamic State. Whether Turkey was purposely targeted or hit accidentally is not clear, said presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin. Cavusoglu says Turkey's aim is to "clean out" the region north of Aleppo.

The DHA news agency reported Tuesday that the Turkish army shelled Islamic State positions in Syria from Turkey, killing 11 militants and destroying a house they had used.

Latest news

Merkel calls for fewer EU regulations as nationalist sentiments grow

As voters in the Netherlands, France and Germany show increasing support for nationalist, euro-sceptic political movements ahead of this year's elections, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for limits on EU regulations.

French prosecutors transfer Fillon case to investigative judge

The French judiciary has opened a formal investigation in connection with presidential candidate Francois Fillon to examine whether the employment of his wife as a parliamentary employee was a sham, the country's financial prosecutors' office said Friday.

White House bars major news outlets from press briefing

Major news organizations, which were Friday blocked by the White House from attending an informal press briefing, condemned the move just hours after President Donald Trump described parts of the media as "the enemy of the people."

Report: German intelligence spied on BBC, other foreign journalists

Germany's intelligence agency monitored foreign journalists at the BBC, the New York Times and other news organizations from 1999 onwards across several countries, according to a Friday report from Der Spiegel magazine.

Classroom for Islamic religious education opened in Split

A classroom for Islamic religious education, whose equipment was financially assisted by city and county authorities, was opened in the coastal city of Split on Friday.

Ministry say no licences for export of military goods to Saudi Arabia issued in 2016

The Economy, Enterprise and Crafts Ministry on Friday issued a statement regarding media reports about export licences for military goods, stressing that in 2016 it did not issue any licences for the export of military goods to Saudi Arabia.

Croatia for preserving Bosnia's stability

Croatia on Friday supported the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), calling on its authorities to adopt decisions in institutions, after a request by BiH Presidency Bosniak member Bakir Izetbegovic to review a ruling which acquitted Serbia of genocide.

Mexico is not a migrant "waiting room" for US, interior minister says

Mexico will not accept undocumented immigrants from other countries whom the United States plans to deport, Mexico's interior minister said Friday.

Right-wing populist Wilders declines first Dutch election debate

Candidates from nine Dutch parties answered questions from journalists Friday at the first national radio debate of the election campaign, but the leading candidate

Bosnian Croat reps insist on channel airing programmes in Croatian

Being one of the constituent peoples, the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to a broadcaster that will air programmes in their native language, HNS BiH official Ivan Vukoja said at a news conference in Mostar on Friday.

Same-sex couples in Slovenia can marry

A Slovenian law allowing same-sex couples to marry went into force on Friday and the first civil registrar ceremony, between two women, is to take place in Maribor on Saturday, the town's Vecer daily said.

Moody's changes Agrokor's outlook to negative

The Moody's rating agency on Friday changed its outlook for the Agrokor food retailer from stable to negative, affirming its rating of B3.