Oct 15, 2014

Turkey denies it agreed to let US use air bases for Islamic State fight

In the latest sign of discord between two key NATO allies, Turkey on Monday formally denied news reports that it had agreed to open a major air base to U.S. and other coalition combat aircraft fighting Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.
For a few days, there appeared to be a deal. Reporters accompanying Hagel on a trip to South America over the weekend quoted senior officials as saying that Turkey had agreed to U.S. use of the base.
National security adviser Susan Rice strengthened the impression Sunday. “They have said that their facilities inside of Turkey can be used by coalition forces, American and otherwise, to engage in activities inside of Iraq and Syria.”
But Turkey’s foreign minister shot that down Monday. “Turkey has made no decision on whether to open its Incirlik Air Base to the U.S.-led coalition in the fight.”
A Turkish spokesman said the U.S. request for Incirlik was still under discussion, as was the Turkish demand for steps against the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad.


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