Sunday, July 9, 2017

Germany Starts Military Pull-Out from Turkey after Diplomatic Spat

al-Azrak base in Jordan
Germany began withdrawing military hardware from an airbase in Turkey Sunday after a diplomatic row with Ankara over whether politicians could visit troops stationed there.

According to Der Spiegel, the German armed forces will begin pulling out from the Incirlik base in the south of the country around midday bound for an alternative location in Jordan.

The move comes after Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel failed to strike a deal with Turkish politicians in June to allow access to the base for German lawmakers.

Turkish-German relations have been on a downward spiral over recent years with a Bundestag resolution on the Armenian genocide and the stalled visit of Turkish lawmakers to Germany during the country’s election adding to the tension.

Some 260 German military staff had at one time been posted at the base to assist in the international fight against ISIS (also known as Daesh) in Syria with surveillance and re-fuelling missions. But Turkish officials have blocked access to the site for German politicians.

The German military will instead operate out of the al-Azrak base in Jordan — also at times home to Belgian, Dutch and American troops — on a provisional basis, Spiegel reported. German troops will continue to be posted in Turkey as part of a separate NATO mission.

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