MESOP FLASH : Turkey, U.S. to Sign Agreement to Stop Foreign Fighters Joining IS

“What we really focused on is how we can improve the coordination between our governments and other members of the coalition to reduce those understanding time lags when actual potential foreign terrorist fighters are moving,” the ambassador said.

Turkey and the U.S. are enhancing cooperation as part of efforts to defeat and degrade the IS in Syria and Iraq, with an agreement signed in February to train and equip the Syrian rebels in a military base in Hirfanli of central Anatolian Kirsehir province of Turkey.

Turkey has beefed up security measures to prevent foreign fighters from crossing into Syria through Turkish territory amid Western countries’ criticism that Ankara did not make its best to stem foreign fighters from joining ranks of the IS in Syria.

Ankara often calls on European countries to share more information on suspected foreign fighters and asks for stopping them before they travel to Turkey.

In April, coalition forces against the IS militants formed a working group “Foundation of the Counter-ISIL Foreign Terrorist Fighters Working Group” to stem flow of foreign fighters into Syria and Iraq in a meeting in the Turkish largest city of Istanbul.