Use of İncirlik base only possible with ‘comprehensive process'
DHA PhotoTurkey would only consider allowing the use of the İncirlik Airbase by the international coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as part of a “comprehensive process,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç has said, reiterating Ankara’s earlier position on the use of the base.
“The use of İncirlik could only be part of a comprehensive process. Its use is out of the question at the moment,” Bilgiç told reporters on March 11 at a press conference.
Ankara is keen to convince the coalition to target both ISIL and the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, which it argues is responsible for ISIL’s appeal.
Turkey will consider making further contributions to the coalition against ISIL according to future developments, Bilgiç added, stressing the necessity for a “lasting solution” that could only be maintained with a “political solution.”
“It’s difficult to achieve success merely with a military approach,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bilgiç stated that 1,511 Peshmerga forces of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq have been trained by Turkey, while 15 trucks of military equipment have been sent to KRG capital Arbil.
He also expressed concern about the work of Shia militias in Iraq by Iran against jihadist groups, indirectly calling for the inclusion of Sunni groups into processes in Iraq in order to prevent the conditions allowing ISIL to thrive.
Citing the recent operation by Shia militias against ISIL in the Iraqi town of Tikrit, Bilgiç said the “isolation of certain groups” in the country would prevent the removal of the root causes that had let the ISIL emerge.
“One of the causes of ISIL in Syria and Iraq is the absence of inclusive governments and the isolation of certain groups,” he said.