Turkey action in Syria ‘unrealistic’

Turkey’s foreign minister says it cannot be expected to lead a ground operation against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria on its own.

Mevlut Cavusoglu also called for the creation of a no-fly zone over its border with Syria after talks in Ankara with new Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg.

Turkey is under intense pressure to do more to help Kurdish forces fighting IS in Kobane on the Syria-Turkey border.

Activists say IS now controls about a third of Kobane after fierce fighting.

Monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, quoting “reliable sources”, said IS was advancing towards the centre of the town from eastern districts.

Earlier, a Kurdish leader in Kobane said IS had entered two more districts overnight, bringing in heavy weapons.

Mr Cavusoglu was holding talks with Mr Stoltenberg and US envoys on possible Turkish action against IS.

“It is not realistic to expect Turkey to conduct a ground operation on its own,” he told a news conference.

“We are holding talks. Once there is a common decision, Turkey will not hold back from playing its part.”

The US is leading an international coalition against IS after the group seized swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, which both share a border with Turkey.

Turkey remains wary of getting involved, partly because it is concerned about helping the Kurds who are fighting the militants. Turkey has fought a long civil war with its Kurdish minority.