Turkey Questions Presence of US-Led Coalition at Incirlik Air Base Amid ‘Confidence Crisis’

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The Turkish government has questioned the deployment of US-led coalition’s aircraft at the Incirlik air base.

Turkey Questions Presence of US-Led Coalition at Incirlik Air Base Amid ‘Confidence Crisis’

Photo: AP Photo / Emrah Gurel

Turkey’s authorities have questioned the deployment of the US-led coalition’s air forces at the Incirlik air base, citing a “confidence crisis” with the US and inadequate support, providing by the coalition to Turkish ground forces in Syria.

According to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkish troops, deployed in Syria as part of Operation Euphrates Shield, receive very poor aerial support by the US-led coalition.

“Our people ask, ‘why are they using the Incirlik Airbase. We allowed not only the US but also other countries’ jets to use Incirlik to jointly fight [Islamic State],” Cavusoglu told the Anadolu news agency on Wednesday. “What purpose are you serving if you do not provide aerial support against Daesh [the Islamic State] in the most sensitive operation for us?” he added.

The Turkish Foreign Minister called Washington a “very important ally,” but at the same time stressed that there is “the reality of a confidence crisis in the relationship at the moment.”

He also accused the US of supporting Kurdish militias, who are considered by Ankara as terrorists, as well as of “preferring terrorist organizations over its ally [Turkey].”

Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik echoed the Cavusoglu’s statements, noting that the lack of air support of the US-led coalition for the Turkey’s military operation in al-Bab “raises questions” about the American presence at Incirlik.

“We hope that all coalition forces, primarily the US, give air and other support that Turkey needs in the Euphrates Shield operation and the necessary step will be taken soon,” the Hurriyet newspaper quoted his words.

“But it is thought-provoking that despite the fact we have been NATO allies for years, and that a coalition has been established to fight against ISIL, the coalition does not support the Euphrates Shield operation launched by the Free Syrian Army and supported by the Turkish armed forces,” Isik added.

At the same time, on Thursday, spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ibrahim Kalin, also noted that Ankara has not received enough support from Washington in its fight against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, adding that he had the feeling that US President-elect Donald Trump would pay more attention to “sensitivities” of Turkey.

On Thursday, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak also said that the issue of the Incirlik air base was on the government’s agenda.

Meanwhile, spokesman for the US-led coalition, Col. John Dorrian, responded the statements of the Turkish government. According to Dorrian, any steps to limit air operations at Incirlik would result in a disastrous outcome.

“The entire world has been made safer by the operations that have been conducted there,” the colonel said. “It’s a very important base to the coalition and to the ongoing fight against Daesh,” he concluded.

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  • Hanny Benny

    So this proofs that the turkish army itself is not capable to support his own troops directly on the border with efficient air support!
    WOW!!
    This means that they are also unable to fight PKK in their own country o.O

    • Jens Holm

      Who says it wasnt ISIS doing those Istanbuls and Izmirs.

      The PKK matters just confirm, they are doing totally wrong about it even they are told, whats wromg about it for many. many years.

    • 1691

      you are missing the point.

      • Hanny Benny

        and you are missing the century!!

  • John Whitehot

    yeah, we’ve seen how safe is the world because the “US led coalition” uses Incirlik. Lmao.

  • PZIVJ1943

    If US coalition airstrikes support Al Bab operation, there might be many more Turkish and FSA casualties!! Be careful what you wish for. I thought Turkey had a large air force?!

    • Jens Holm

      They have, but it has to be remembered most parts probatly are made for fighting armies like the russian one, where amount of gunpower is important.

      They therefore might have no smart bombs, which kill more accurate and better can kill single hidden targets down to fortified small houses.

      But I also see its as a kind of agreement. Russians are there too now and then.

      Well, that my reflexions about that strange mix.

      I also see it as Turks has a great lack of clever infantery even they with pride has put in some 500 socalled grey wolfes – vuf-vuf. Its also a well known political matter, that many coffins change the oppinion and Erdogan is a populist of the worst kind.

      People might think those troops should be on each strett corner in Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara in stead.

      Thats also why those terrorattacks are made. Turkish focus should be moved to, where their own people are in stead of that artificial heroisme in Syria as well as Iraq.

      Could be like that.

      • PZIVJ1943

        Not such a strange mix after all is said and done. Russia is Turkey’s #1 economic partner. Both have no interest in terrorism, Erdogan has thrown in the towel about SAA losing battle for Syria! The tide has turned. Turkey still wants Al Bab to stop Kurd linkup, I am sure this has been agreed to in talks. ISUS and Al Nusra will suffer!!! :)

        • Jens Holm

          Well, Russia might be, but EU got 54% of 100% and Russia 18.

  • Ronald

    Hopefully this is the prelude to a coalition “eviction”

  • Brad Isherwood
  • trid2bnrml

    “What purpose are you serving if you do not provide aerial support against Daesh” – THEY’RE SERVING THEIR OWN PURPOSE, while USING YOU! Don’t you get it Turkey? Throw them out of your base.

  • Shibumi

    The US should not rely on Turkey, they should clear out and use bases in Kurdistan instead or build a new air base there. Kurds have no problem with that and can be trusted unlike Turks.

    • 1691

      Don’t you think that it will be better for the whole world, not only Turkey or Syria if the us
      went back home. and there is nothing like a country called Kurdistan.

  • Battal

    Turkish army hits 292 points near Al-Bab last 24 hours. 8.01.2017
    http://www.dailysabah.com/war-on-terror/2017/01/08/32-daesh-terrorists-killed-in-northern-syria

    Turkey allowed the United States to use the Incirlik base against Daesh / ISIS. The US has support SDF / PKK terrorists and ISIS terrorists from Incirlik air base. When Turkey want to help to offensive to Al Bab US denied.

    The Incirlik base is losing its meaning for Turkey.

  • Joseph Scott

    The US has woven such a tangled web that they’ve given Erdogan’s cabinet a chance to say something and make perfect sense for once. Wonders never cease.