Turkey has demanded that the US take military action against the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad as a condition for Ankara to step up its co-operation in Washington's coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as Isis.
In an interview with CNN News, Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey's prime minister, insisted that a no-fly zone be established in Syria - which would require attacking the Assad regime's air defences - as well as the creation of havens inside the country for potential refugees.
"We want to have a no-fly zone, we want to have a safe haven on our border," Mr Davutoglu said. "Otherwise, all these burdens will continue to go on the shoulder of Turkey and other neighbouring countries," he added, referring to what he said were 1.6m Syrian refugees now in Turkey.
"We are ready to do everything if there is a clear strategy that, after Isis, we can be sure that our border will be protected."
Turkey's contribution to the anti-Isis coalition is set to be discussed this week, when senior US officials visit Ankara in the wake of a Turkish parliamentary vote last week to authorise the use of force.
But there is little indication Washington is considering either broadening its fight against Isis to include Mr Assad or establishing havens, a task that could require ground forces.
"This is a way of dragging your feet, because these are demands that are not going to be satisfied," said Soli Ozel at Kadir Has University in Istanbul. "Turkey will do everything it can to not take on Isis directly."
Mr Davutoglu's comments came as Isis appeared to edge closer to taking a long-sought target - the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, right on the Turkish border, despite US strikes overnight and in recent days against nearby Isis positions.
During the course of the day, Isis fighters lifted a flag on the eastern side of the town, watched by Turkish soldiers in tanks just across the border.
"Punishing Isis in Kobani, but ignoring the next step may create much bigger problems in the future," Mr Davutoglu told CNN.
Turkey has been reluctant to take the side of the Syrian Kurdish fighters combating Isis, because they are affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' party, or PKK, which has been battling Ankara for three decades.
"For us the PKK is the same as Isis," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday. "It is wrong to consider them in different ways."
Ankara's stance on Isis itself became the subject of a US-Turkish rift when Joe Biden, the US vice-president, claimed that Mr Erdogan had admitted Turkey had let "too many" foreign fighters cross the border from Turkey into Syria. Mr Biden subsequently issued an apology.
Mr Erdogan says no armed fighters have entered Syria from Turkish territory.
The Times in London reported that 10 suspected jihadis with EU nationalities - including two Britons and three French citizens - were released by Turkey as part of a prisoner swap that secured the freedom of 46 Turkish hostages held by Isis. The Turkish foreign ministry declined to comment.
Mr Ozel added that in any case Turkish public opinion was set against military action for a range of reasons.
"The country does not want Turkey to use ground forces in Iraq or northern Syria," he said. "Basically we don't trust the Americans and we don't want to get into a mess of their creation."
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