US ‘minimizing’ Effects of Closure of Incirlik Airbase on ISIS War
“The Turkish government has closed its airspace to military aircraft, and as a result air operations at Incirlik Airbase have been halted at this time,” said Peter Cook, Pentagon press secretary, in a statement on Saturday.
US officials are “working with the Turks to resume air operations there as soon as possible,” he added, and US Central Command is adjusting operations “to minimize any effects on the campaign.”
The airbase was shut down by Ankara following a failed coup attempt Friday night. US officials at the base reported that power to the base has been cut off.
Incirlik Airbase is home to about 2,000 mostly US Air Force personnel, A-10 attack planes, surveillance aircraft, and KC-135 refueling tankers that service approximately one-third of refueling operations for planes involved in offensives against ISIS.
Germany also has 250 troops, six Tornado surveillance jets, and a tanker aircraft stationed at Incirlik Airbase participating in the anti-ISIS war.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the base was being closed until the situation is under control and operations at the base would resume once investigations into the coup are completed. He added said that some Turkish military personnel at the airbase were involved in the failed coup.