Turkey denies deal with US on anti-IS strikes

Turkey denies deal with US on anti-IS strikes

Monday, October 13, 2014 8:05 pm

Turkey on Monday denied it struck a deal with Washington allowing US forces to use Turkish air bases for bombing raids against Islamic State (IS) militants inside Syria but confirmed it had agreed to help train Syrian rebels.

Ankara has come under increasing Western pressure to step up assistance for the US-led coalition against IS, as Kurdish fighters battle the jihadists for the town of Kobane just a few kilometres from the Turkish border.

A Turkish tank near the Syrian border town of Kobane or Ain Al Arab

A Turkish tank near the Syrian border town of Kobane or Ain Al Arab

But the Turkish government vehemently denied statements by US officials it was allowing US forces to carry out bombing raids from the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey.

“We are holding intense negotiations with our allies. But there are not any new developments about Incirlik,” Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told reporters after a cabinet meeting in Ankara.

The US air force already uses the Incirlik base for logistical and humanitarian purposes but would need additional authorisation from Ankara to launch bombing raids.

“There is no new agreement with the United States about Incirlik,” an official, who asked not to be named, told AFP earlier in Ankara.

“Negotiations are continuing” based on conditions Turkey had previously laid out such as a safe zone inside Syria backed up by a no-fly zone, the official added.

A senior US defence official said Sunday that Turkey had granted the US forces access to its air bases, including Incirlik, for the bombing campaign against IS.

“Details of usage are still being worked out,” the US official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

However in a barb at the US, Arinc said: “Different people can make different statements that go beyond their purpose or with the intention of satisfying their own public.”

Located in southern Turkey in Adana province a short distance from the Syrian border, Incirlik would be an ideal start point for US forces to launch air strikes against IS inside Syria.

Join The Conversation

One Comment

  • Azad says:

    Turkey supports ISIL and Jabahat AlNusrah and Liwaa AlTawheend and all Jihadists in Syria! So, it will not fight its real Muslim Brotherhood and alQaeda allies for NATO!

  • What do you think?

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.