Thursday, January 5, 2017

Turkey Threatens to End US Access to Its Air Base; Is Furious US Backs Its Kurdish Eneny Fighting IS

Turkish officials said they are considering shutting down an air base being used by NATO allies in a bombing campaign against the Islamic State (IS) over a disagreement about a lack of allied support for Turkey's own military campaign in the Middle East, the UPI website reports today (January 5, 2017).

Turkish Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu said yesterday that Turkey has the right to shut off international access to Incirlik Air Base, the launching spot for U.S.-led air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Turkey has been running its own bombing campaign against Kurdish fighters that it considers terrorists. On the other hand, the United States has supported the Kurdish fighters as allies in the larger fight against the Islamic State.

"The U.S. is a very important ally for us. We have cooperation in every field. But there is the reality of a confidence crisis in the relationship at the moment," Cavusoglu said. "Giving arms to the [Kurdish militias], the U.S. chose a terrorist organization over its ally [Turkey]."

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