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Rudaw

Middle East

US air force tells Rudaw “it is not OK” with Russia using Incirlik air base

By Rudaw 19/8/2016
Secretary of U.S. Air Force Deborah James. AFP photo
Secretary of U.S. Air Force Deborah James. AFP photo

NEW YORK—Following a statement by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to the local media that Russia might be given the green light to use Turkey’s Incirlik base for airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, Deborah James, the Secretary of U.S. Air Force said that she "won't be ok" with sharing the air base with the Russians. 

 

The top U.S. Air Force official told Rudaw's New York correspondent Majeed Gly, “It would not be OK with me as Secretary of Air Force. I would not be in favor of such a position.”

 

“Off-course people can talk about different things,” she added. “That’s different from actually coming to an agreement and making a deal.”

 

James’ response comes after strong indications from Turkish foreign minister that Turkey might consider military cooperation with Russia.

 

Turkey's Foreign Minister Cavusoglu told the Russian government-run agency Sputnik last week that “Turkey wanted to cooperate with NATO members up to this point, but the results we got did not satisfy us. Therefore, it is natural to look for other options.”

 

A visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Moscow earlier this month marked a major shift in Turkish foreign policy after almost a year of soured relations with Russia after shooting down one of their jets over the border with Syria almost a year ago.

 

The Incirlik air base in southern Turkey has been used by the US-led coalition to carry out air strikes against ISIS and other Islamist groups in neighboring Syria.

 

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Devil | 19/8/2016
Devil sleeping with devil equals to son of the devil. Turkey thinks they want to teach their friends a lesson. Well they are entering into unknown. They are playing with fire. Good luck to turkey. If they think Russian will improved their economy have another think.
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 19/8/2016
She "won't be okay" ???? -- That's clearly way short of drawing a "red line" (for whatever that was worth.) -- Sounds like it might not even draw a "strongly worded protest".
Strange times | 19/8/2016
Some news agencies are reporting that the Americans are already in the process of moving out their nukes from Incirlik so I doubt this comes as a shock to them. What is very strange is the silence from Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab world, there's no doubt anymore that Erdogan stabbed the Sunni rebels (in Syria and Iraq) in the back, he has sold them to Assad in return for Assad attacking Kurds, it has already started in Hasaka. Turkey only cares about stopping Kurds, but Iran will free it's resources in Syria and start concentrating on Saudi Arabia and the rest of the region, by the time the other powers wake up and react to this Turkey-Iran-Russia axis it might already be too late.
Rizgar | 19/8/2016
The importance of Incirlik airbase is way over estimated. It is neither irreplaceable nor strategic. The US has rarely been able to get permission to use it in the past 30 years, thanks to the Turks hostile attitude to American interests in the region. Incirlik is more like a trophy with a nostalgic past than an strategic asset. Closing it will have zero effect on US capabilities in the medium and long run. With the gradual introduction of F35 joint strike fighters any farmers field can become an airbase. No need for fancy long and lit runways.
Jim Bean | 19/8/2016
hmmmmmmm........Assad is bombing thousands of civilians in aleppo to smithereens and turkey is suddenly silent. I read somewhere today that when Assad bombed kurds today the turkish army offered the syrian army help. what is this? a new aliance? this airbase incirik in turkey was Erdogans last card against Nato, what will happen now he's lost his last card?

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