Turkey Formally Opens Incirlik Air Base for Coalition Strikes on IS
Turkey has officially allowed the US-led coalition to use the country’s Incirlik Air Base for airstrikes against targets of Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, state-run Anadolu news agency (AA) reported on Wednesday.
Ankara first announced it would opening its air bases for manned and unmanned coalition aircraft on 24 July following years of reluctance.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic told reporters on Wednesday that the the government decision to allow the use of Turkey’s air bases for strikes on IS targets “has matured”, meaning the Incirlik base “could be used any time, whenever needed”, according to AA.
The formal agreement only refers to the fight against IS and doesn't include air support to pro-Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG) in northern Syria, Bilgic said.
Asked about remarks by U.S. State Department Spokesman John Kirby that the opening of air bases would make U.S. support for the YPG faster and more effective, Bilgic said that Turkey’s agreement with the U.S. concerned the fight against Islamic State.
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