ANKARA: Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has warned to close two US strategic military airbases in response to US sanctions.
According to the details, Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday has threatened to close Incirlik and Kurecik two US bases. The two bases sit on Turkey’s southwest coast, near the border with syria.
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The US air force uses the airbase at Incirlik for raids on positions held by the militant Islamic State (IS) group in Syria. The Kurecik base houses a major NATO radar station.
The US defense Secretary Mark Esper has said, he would need to speak to his counterpart, Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, ” to understand what they really mean and how serious they are to close US airbases.”
He further said, ” If Turkey is serious about it, I mean, they are a sovereign nation to begin with.”
“They have the inherent right to house or not to house NATO base or foreign troops.”
US defense secretary further said, “I think this becomes an alliance’s matter, their commitment to the alliance, in indeed they are serious about what they are saying.”
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Esper also noted the was disappointed by the direction Ankara seems to be taking, moving away from NATO and getting close to Russia.
Meanwhile, Turkey faces US sanctions over its decision to buy the Russian S-400 missile defense system, despite warnings from Washington.