The airbase located in south-east Turkey, near the city of Adana has been reopened after being shut and airspace closed as an aftermath of the Turkish Coup attempt.
The Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook: “After close coordination with our Turkish allies, they have reopened their airspace to military aircraft. As a result, counter-ISIL coalition air operations at all air bases in #Turkey have resumed. US facilities at Incirlik are still operating on internal power sources, but we hope to restore commercial power soon. Base operations have not been affected.”
The Incirlik Air Base – Turkey is one of the most important NATO airbases and it’s the primary launching point of air strikes against Da’esh in Syria and Iraq. It hosts both Turkish and US assets but also some Royal Air Force and Saudi ones.
Speaking on CNN, Secretary of State John Kerry said U.S. operations against Islamic State won’t be interrupted because of the events in Turkey. He said the U.S. military experienced some minor difficulties, apparently because “there may have been some refueling that took place with the Turkish Air Force with planes that were flying in the coup itself.”
Air base involved in coup
The decision to reopen the base comes only after Turkish officials arrested the #commander of the Incirlik Air Base, for complicity in Friday’s coup attempt. U.S. and Turkish officials said Sunday (July 17th). A senior Turkish official said General Bekir Ercan Van, the base commander, as well as 11 other service members from the base and a police officer, were placed under arrest. The arrests came after Turkish F-16s operated by plotters involved in the coup attempt to refuel from two airborne tankers operating out of the Turkish portion of the air base, tells the Wall Street Journal.
Having said this, diplomacy was also put to the test as French Foreign Affairs Secretary took a swift position towards the closing of airbase, voicing doubt over Turkey’s position in the fights against #ISIS.
For more about the failed coup attempt in Turkey, please access this analysis.