US appreciates Turkish base access, hopes will continue: Pentagon
WASHINGTON - ReutersThe United States appreciates the access provided by Turkey to the İncirlik air base in southern Turkey, and looks forward to that continuing, the Pentagon said on Jan. 5, after Turkish officials questioned that access.
"We are operating out of İncirlik ... and we look forward to that continuing," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told a news briefing.
His remarks came after Turkey began to question the use of the İncirlik air base by the anti-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) coalition forces.
Turkey argues that the U.S. has failed to support Ankara’s offensive in the al-Bab region against the jihadist group.
“Our people ask, ‘why are they [coalition forces] using the İncirlik Airbase [if the coalition does not provide aerial support to the Euphrates Shield operation]. We allowed not only the U.S. but also other countries’ jets to use İncirlik to jointly fight [ISIL],” Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu told state-run Anadolu Agency on Jan. 4.
Defense Minister Fikri Işık also said on Jan. 4 that the lack of the U.S.-led anti-ISIL coalition’s air support in Turkey’s Euphrates Shield operation in Syria’s al-Bab “raises questions” about the mission of the İncirlik Air Base in Adana.