U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday that the key military assistance the United States would like to get from Turkey would be access to the Turkish air base at Incirlik and an agreement to help train and equip the moderate Syrian forces.

Hagel said U.S. officials are raising those issues with Turkish leaders in discussions this week. While Ankara’s persistent request for the U.S. to set up a safe zone along Turkey’s border with Syria is not “actively being considered,” he said, American leaders are open to a discussion about it.

The defense secretary said Turkey has military capabilities that would be valuable in the fight against the Islamic State militants. The U.S. would like to be able to base various aircraft at the air base near the Syrian border, he said. […]