Turkey questions US-led coalition presence at Incirlik air base

Turkey says it has the right to shut down US access to the base as it sees insufficient support for its military operations against Daesh in Syria, but adds first the conditions should be evaluated.

Photo by: AP (Archive)
Photo by: AP (Archive)

The US-led coalition uses Incirlik air base in southern Turkey to launch air strikes against Daesh in neighbouring Syria.

Turkish officials are questioning the presence of US-led coalition forces at Incirlik air base in southern Turkey over what they see as insufficient support for Turkey's military operations against Daesh in Syria.

The US-led coalition flies warplanes from the base to launch air strikes against Daesh positions in Syria and Iraq. However, Turkey has not received sufficient support from the US forces in its efforts to liberate the Syrian town of al-Bab from the same group, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said on Thursday.

"Turkey has the right to shut down Incirlik air base. We always have this right. But first the conditions should be evaluated. We have the right of disposition as part of Turkey's sovereign right," he said.

Washington’s strategy to back YPG against Daesh has angered Ankara. Turkey considers YPG to be an extension of the PKK, a group that is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and EU.

Kalin said he hoped the administration of President-elect Donald Trump would be more attuned to Turkey's sensitivities.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies