Friday, January 6, 2017

Turkey's NATO membership : Incirlik is not a NATO base, says Turkey defense chief

Turkey's defense minister used a television interview on Friday to say the country’s Incirlik Air Base was under Turkish sovereignty, not NATO’s.

Fikri Isik also criticized Barack Obama’s administration over its Syria policy.

Isik told private news channel Haberturk: “Incirlik base is not a NATO base. This needs to be known by everyone. They [foreign forces] are in there with the permission of Turkey.”

He said Turkey had the right to shut down the strategic military facility and warned the country’s allies to be clear about fighting Daesh.

Isik’s comments came as Turkey questioned the role of the U.S.-led coalition against Daesh in Syria.

On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused the U.S. of failing to provide air support to Turkish-backed opposition forces taking part in Operation Euphrates Shield against Daesh.

Cavusoglu said the Turkish people were wondering about the continued presence of U.S. forces at Incirlik, given that Washington was not supporting Turkey’s significant operation.

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