Thursday, July 23, 2015

Pentagon Exclusive Statement On İncirlik

Pentagon's Exclusive Statement

Ilhan Tanir
Pentagon Spokesperson Laura Seal, sent the statement below, when I asked whether Incirlik Airbase in Turkey is indeed opened to American jets to conduct operations as part of anti-ISIL campaign, inside Syria.

Spox Seal clearly states that Turkey and US ''decided to further deepen cooperation in the fight against ISIL,'' however, refuses to confirm whether İncirlik opened for citing ''operational security.'' 

Important to note as well, American officials may this time leave it to Ankara to make a statement on the issue, if there will be any statement issued. Most likely, the reason for that may be that last time high level US officials stated İncirlik is open to the coalition forces, Ankara vehemently denied a day later and reminded that Turkey's conditions for that to create safe zones inside Syria, creating a NFZ and intervening against the Assad regime. (October, 2014, Source: Turkish)

Today's exclusive statement from Pentagon:
''The United States and Turkey have held ongoing consultations about ways we can further our joint counter-ISIL efforts. We have decided to further deepen our cooperation in the fight against ISIL, our common efforts to promote security and stability in Iraq, and our work to bring about a political settlement to the conflict in Syria.  Due to operational security I don’t have further details to share at this time. Turkey is a critical partner in degrading and defeating ISIL, and we appreciate the essential support Turkey provides to the international coalition across the many lines of effort.

Turkey is a key partner on the train and equip program for the vetted Syrian opposition, hosting one of the training facilities.  Turkey has also taken many important steps to curb the flow of foreign fighters.  We recognize that the foreign fighter problem is not Turkey's alone, and we will continue to work closely with Turkey and other partners, particularly in Europe, to prevent the further flow of foreign fighters.  Of course, Turkey is also a leader in the humanitarian effort as it hosts nearly 2 million refugees from this crisis.

Laura Seal
DoD Spokesperson

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