A State Department official said Thursday that Turkey has been very cooperative in countering Daesh, describing the NATO country as a "willing partner".

Saying that each member of the U.S.-led coalition contributed what they could in time and space, an official speaking on condition of anonymity told Anadolu Agency that Turkey was contributing even more by opening up air bases to strengthen the coalition "to go after Daesh".

"And yet there is still all these commentaries about if they are not doing enough," the official said, adding the coalition was "grateful" to Turkey for the opening of the bases.

"It doesn't mean that in any bilateral discussion with a coalition member that you will necessarily agree on everything, but we've got a good strong relationship with Turkey," the official stressed.

Asked about Turkey's recent attacks on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the coalition's operations to destroy Daesh at the same time, the official described it as a "coincidence," stressing that there was no connection.

The PKK is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S. and EU.

Since July 24, around 1,700 people have been detained in a wave of counter-terrorism raids in Turkey amid a spike in attacks targeting police officers and the army.

The violence intensified after a July 20 suicide bombing in the southeastern Suruc district which killed 32 civilians. The attack was reportedly carried out by Daesh.

The attacks have since led to an extensive anti-terrorism effort by the Turkish government, which saw Turkish jets bomb PKK camps at home and in northern Iraq, including the Qandil Mountains, along with airstrikes against Daesh in Syria.

"Any nation has an obligation and responsibility to protect its citizens from terrorists," the State Department official said.

Upon a question on whether Turkey used the Incirlik Air Base agreement as a hook to attack the PKK, State Department spokesman John Kirby answered "absolutely not" in a Washington briefing.

"They [Turkey] have a right to defend themselves against terrorist attacks, and that is a separate and distinct matter than the discussion that we have with Turkey about their continuing cooperation," he said.

Asked also whether the U.S. requested Turkey not to launch independent airstrikes against Daesh until the agreement with Ankara is fully written out, Kirby said the U.S. continued to work with the Turkish authorities about how best to get rid of Daesh across the border.

"We have requested Turkey not to undertake independent counter-ISIL [Daesh] strikes in Syria until Turkey is fully integrated into coalition operations to ensure safe air operations for the coalition in very dense airspace," he said. "And the Turks have agreed to that."

Last month, Turkey agreed to allow U.S.-led coalition forces to launch airstrikes against Daesh positions from Incirlik, located near Turkey’s border with war-torn Syria.

The U.S. began flying armed missions from the strategic air base in southeastern Turkey last weekend, and carried out the first unmanned airstrike from the base last week.

During the weekend, the U.S. sent a contingent of six F-16s, and 300 American personnel to Incirlik.

Top U.S. military officials confirmed late Wednesday that the U.S. launched its first manned airstrikes against Daesh targets from the Incirlik base.

Anadolu Agency